Work has started on the first German wind farm to be fully financed by private investors.

Meerwind is around 50 km off the coast of Germany in the North Sea and will comprise 80 turbines in water depths of up to 26 metres. It will have a capacity of 288 MW.

The project is owned by WindMW, a joint venture between investment company Blackstone and Windland Energieerzeugungs.

The seabed at the site is being prepared for the installation of monopile foundations which will be followed early next year by the fitting of Siemens 3.6MW-120 turbines.

A group of seven commercial lenders, including Commerzbank, KfW IPEX-Bank, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Dexia, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander and Siemens Bank together with EKF, the export credit agency of Denmark, and KfW-Bankengruppe, have provided total financing of €822m ($1bn) for the project.