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1715853600000 | Press Release

EnBW: Construction work begins on Germany’s largest offshore wind farm in the North Sea

“He Dreiht” 960-megawatt offshore wind farm with no state funding / Around 2.4 billion euros being invested / Electricity for 1.1 million households
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Transport of the transition pieces for the He Dreiht offshore wind farm_Source EnBW / Magnus Reinke OIM

Karlsruhe/Hamburg/Emden. “He Dreiht” is Low German for “It spins.” A more fitting name could hardly have been chosen for what is currently Germany’s largest offshore wind farm. That’s because there will be a great deal of spinning going on in the North Sea once 64 wind turbines with a total capacity of 960 megawatts have been installed. EnBW is thus building a “wind power plant” with a capacity comparable to today’s conventional power plants, producing enough electricity for 1.1 million households. In the first offshore auction held in Germany, EnBW secured the contract for the project back in 2017. The unique thing about this project is that He Dreiht will be built without state funding. Around 2.4 billion euros are being invested in it.

EnBW CEO Georg Stamatelopoulos: “EnBW will play its part in further accelerating the energy transition in Germany, which is why it wants to invest a total of 40 billion euros in the energy transition by 2030 – the lion’s share of it in Germany. We are investing around 13 billion euros alone in constructing wind farms and solar parks as well as flexibly controllable and hydrogen-ready gas power plants. Our aim is to be a climate-neutral company by 2035. The He Dreiht offshore wind farm will play a significant role in helping us to achieve this aim.”

Peter Heydecker, Board Member for Sustainable Generation Infrastructure: “After seven years of intensive planning, we are delighted that we are now able to start construction work. The successful development of a project on this scale once again demonstrates the ability of our offshore team to realize cost-efficient offshore wind projects in Germany and Europe. The expansion of offshore wind energy is an important part of our ongoing strategy to considerably increase our installed renewable capacity from 5.7 GW to 10 to 11.5 GW by 2030.”

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Floating crane Thialf in the construction field of He Dreiht_Quelle EnBW / Weltenangler

Large construction site in the middle of the sea

He Dreiht is being built roughly 85 kilometers northwest of Borkum and about 110 kilometers west of Helgoland. More than 500 employees will work on this large construction site in the middle of the sea at peak times. Over 60 ships are involved in the construction of the wind farm. EnBW’s offshore office in Hamburg is coordinating the major project.

The Thialf, one of the world’s largest floating cranes, will install the first foundations in the seabed in the next few days. A monopile – a 70-meter-long steel foundation 9.2 meters in diameter and weighing around 1,350 metric tons – will be used, upon which a transition piece will be placed, which serves as a connecting element between the tower of the wind turbine and the monopile. The monopiles and transition pieces had previously been loaded onto floating platforms in Eemshaven in the Netherlands and towed to the construction site by tugboats. Work on installing all of the foundations will continue into the summer. The wind turbines and cables are being manufactured at the same time. These will be installed and laid in early 2025. The latest generation of wind turbines from Vestas will be used. One single rotation of a 15-megawatt turbine rotor is enough to supply four households with electricity for a day.

The entire wind farm is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2025. EnBW will be responsible for the technical and commercial management. Servicing and maintenance work will be carried out from its service base in Emden.

The Dutch-German grid operator TenneT will connect the wind farm to the grid using an offshore converter station and two high-voltage DC export cables. The cables will be laid over a distance of 120 kilometers underwater and 110 kilometers on land. From the landfall point near Hilgenriedesiel, the electricity will be transmitted by buried cable to the future Garrel/Ost converter station in the Cloppenburg area.

A partner consortium made up of Allianz Capital Partners, AIP and Norges Bank Investment Management owns 49.9% of the shares in He Dreiht.

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EnBW’s offshore wind power portfolio in Germany

EnBW has been planning, building and operating offshore wind farms in Germany and Europe for around 15 years. In the Baltic Sea, EnBW operates the EnBW Baltic 1 and Baltic 2 offshore wind farms. Besides He Dreiht, EnBW’s existing offshore wind farms Hohe See and Albatros are located in the North Sea. In addition, EnBW and bp are developing three wind farms in the UK – Mona, Morgan and Morven – with a total capacity of 5.9 GW.

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About EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG

With a workforce of over 28,000 employees, EnBW is one of the largest energy supply companies in Germany and Europe. It supplies electricity, gas and water together with infrastructure and energy-related products and services to around 5.5 million customers. In the company’s transformation from a traditional energy provider to a sustainable infrastructure group, the expansion of renewable energy sources and of the distribution and transportation grids for electricity and gas are cornerstones of EnBW’s growth strategy and the focus of its investment spending. By 2030, EnBW plans gross investment of 40 billion euros, around 90 percent of which is earmarked for Germany. By the end of 2025, renewables are set to account for more than half of EnBW’s generation portfolio. The aim is to phase out coal by the end of 2028. These are key milestones on the company’s way to achieving climate neutrality by 2035. www.enbw.com.

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