German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Norway’s minister of energy and oil Kjell Borge Freiberg opened Arkona windfarm, the largest offshore windfarm in the Baltic Sea, in a ceremony on 16 April.

The windfarm is a joint project between German energy company E.ON and Norwegian multinational Equinor. Located off the coast of the island of Rügen, Northern Germany and built at a cost of nearly $1.4bn (€1.2bn), it is formed of 60 6MW turbines supplied by Spanish wind energy company Siemens Gamesa and offers a total capacity of 385MW. It can supply 400,000 households with electricity and saves 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 annually.

Siemens Gamesa tweeted: “Installation of Arkona offshore wind power plant in Germany in record time. Construction works, including installation & commissioning of 60 direct drive offshore wind turbines completed in just 5 months.”

Equinor chairman Jon Erik Reinhardsen said: “The Arkona opening is a key milestone for Equinor. The wind farm has the capacity to supply renewable energy to 400,000 German homes. Equinor is already meeting 25% of Germany’s need for natural gas.

“Arkona is Equinor’s fourth wind farm coming online since 2012 and is a key contribution to developing Equinor into a broad energy company. We would also like to thank E.ON for its excellent work on the development and operations of Arkona.”

E.ON Chairman Johannes Teyssen added: “The task now is to expand renewable energies vigorously and at the same time make them cheaper. Green energy must be delivered to people and businesses much more efficiently than before. This is a Herculean task that requires all the strength of large companies. E.ON will focus on better integration and utilization of renewables for our customers and society.”