Karlsruhe. Due to the discussion, yet to be concluded, on the German Energy Management Act (EnWG) and the associated uncertainties regarding binding dates for the network connection of offshore wind farms, EnBW is postponing its investment decision for its planned North Sea wind farm Hohe See.“We need legislative clarity and reliable underlying conditions before we can make an investment decision for an amount clearly in excess of €1.5 billion. A responsible decision on the construction of the wind farm will only be possible once these are in place and a binding date can be stated for connecting the wind farm to the grid,” says EnBW Chief Technical Officer Dr. Hans-Josef Zimmer.
EnBW will, therefore, wait until the current legislature procedure has been concluded. “Until then, we will in principle, be sticking to our goal of building the EnBW wind farm, Hohe See, with an installed output of some 500 MW,” emphasises Zimmer.
EnBW Erneuerbare Energien GmbH has informed the licensing authorities, involved market partners and the pertinent network operator TenneT of this decision.
Expanding wind power is, and remains, without change a central plank of the drive by EnBW to expand renewable energies. EnBW put the first commercial offshore wind farm into operation in the German Baltic Sea, the EnBW Baltic 1, as early as 2011. EnBW is currently pushing the construction of the second offshore wind farm, the EnBW Baltic 2.
“Following this pioneering performance, our highly motivated and competent offshore team is ready to embark on the next wind power project in the North Sea. We have been developing offshore wind power since 2008, and want to successfully continue on that path,” says Stefan Thiele, management spokesman of EnBW Erneuerbare Energien GmbH.
EnBW has, therefore, decided not to continue the current tendering negotiations until further notice. The project is to be continued as soon as the legal framework for offshore wind farms is clear and economic operations can be gauged. In the last few months, EnBW has already been forced to postpone the decision on the EnBW offshore wind farm Hohe See because of the inability by the network operator TenneT to state a date for the grid connection. This means that the project in the current legislative procedure regarding the amendment to the German Energy Management Act is no longer subject to the portfolio protection regulations proposed therein for the offshore network connection.“This is a highly regrettable fact which, however, we need to take into consideration,” says Thiele.
The EnBW offshore portfolio comprises four wind farms with output in excess of 1,200 megawatts. EnBW offshore wind farms are currently projected by a team in Hamburg comprising some 70 members.
EnBW at a glance:
With sales in excess of € 18 billion in 2011 and some 20,000 employees, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG is one of the largest energy supply companies in Germany and Europe. With effect from May 2011, EnBW has been operating the first commercial wind farm in Germany. Its second offshore wind farm, Baltic 2, with an output of 288 megawatts, is currently under construction approx. 30 kilometres from Rügen. By 2020, EnBW aims to build an additional installed output of about 3,000 MW from renewable energies in Germany alone, and therefore more than double its current installed output in renewable energies.