EnBW is continuing to focus on renewable energies in its growth strategy and this means that new sites are required. In cooperation with bp, EnBW has had its bid accepted for the rights to develop an offshore wind farm off the east coast of Scotland. The technical expertise of these two partners was a key factor in the success of their bid. The Morven wind farm with a capacity of 2.9 GW should be finished by 2026/2027. It will generate enough wind power to supply more than three million households on aggregate.
We have a fantastic partner in EnBW and now an even more competitive portfolio of nearly six GW of combined offshore wind power to develop together. Our plans go much further than just the turbines offshore. They see us investing in projects and in people – from EV charging to green hydrogen – aligned with Scotland’s energy transition plans.
Alongside the offshore wind farms we are developing together with bp, we plan to connect EnBW’s own wind farm He Dreiht to the grid by 2025. It will have an output of 900 MW and EnBW has already concluded long-term power procurement agreements for the energy: Evonik, Fraport and Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH have already signed up for our wind energy from the North Sea.
The wind farm is being built about 90 km northwest of Borkum and around 110 km west of Helgoland, and has 60 wind turbines each with an output of 15 MW. The power purchase agreements (PPAs) support customers in achieving their own climate targets and provide developers of projects in the area of renewable energies with secure financing, without the need for any state funding.
Together with EnBW, we are pressing ahead with our ambitious sustainability strategy. We are becoming less dependent on fossil fuel sources and their price fluctuations.
EnBW not only focused on wind power in 2022 but also on the expansion of solar energy by placing the two XXL solar parks Alttrebbin and Gottesgabe in Brandenburg into operation. These solar parks constructed and operating without state funding have an output of 150 MW. The around 700,000 solar modules generate enough power to supply 90,000 households on aggregate.
With the two solar parks, we are expanding the output of all photovoltaic projects realized in Germany last year by 5% in one go.
A special feature of these two solar parks is that they are the first to use battery storage systems. On winter days with low levels of sunlight, they can save up to 3.9 MWh of solar energy that is enough to cover the needs of the transformer stations and inverters at the parks during the night. The storage system can also feed energy into the electricity grid on sunny days. The combination of renewable energy plants and decentralized storage systems makes a valuable contribution to the energy transition.
Open-field sites like these really help to expand solar energy generation more quickly. And this is all the more important given the ambitious targets set by the German government. After all, the measures it has announced to accelerate the expansion of renewable energy sources, such as faster approval procedures, will not have a noticeable effect overnight.
An important component of the company’s goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2035 is to convert coal power plants over to natural gas and finally to green hydrogen in the future as part of so-called fuel switch projects. The conversion work has already started at two of the existing coal power plants in Heilbronn and Altbach/Deizisau: A major contract has been signed with a consortium including the companies General Electric, Sener and Bonatti for the construction of one combined cycle power plant each, as well as for the respective maintenance and servicing work. The turbines are already H₂-ready, i.e., they are capable of generating electricity with hydrogen as soon as the necessary infrastructure has been developed.
The current events in Ukraine clearly show the challenges associated with the European energy transition. Modern gas power plants will be indispensable in ensuring that power generation methods are sufficiently flexible and thus guaranteeing security of supply. They are needed in parallel to the expansion of renewable energies, ready to be switched on at the push of a button to compensate for volatile feed-ins.
EnBW is stepping up its activities in the area of liquefied natural gas and entering into a partnership with the Hanseatic Energy Hub (HEH) in order to further diversify its procurement portfolio. The HEH is a terminal for liquefied gases in Stade, Germany. The LNG terminal will become a central hub for the import of liquefied natural gas to Germany and EnBW intends to purchase at least three billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. The Hanseatic Energy Hub can cover around 10% of Germany’s gas demand with its regasification capacity.
We have stepped up our LNG activities little by little in recent years. That's because liquefied natural gas plays a key role in the diversification of our fuels for energy generation: It opens up the possibility of new sources to secure Germany's gas supply in the transitional period of the new energy concept and builds a bridge to a green energy supply. This is why we specifically chose Stade as our import terminal. Technically, commercially and in terms of approval processes, the project is at a high stage of maturity.
Another source of supply was secured through the conclusion of a contract between EnBW and Venture Global LNG from the USA. EnBW has agreed to purchase 2 million t of liquefied natural gas from this supplier every year for a period of 20 years. It is important to further diversify our sources in order to become more independent from Russian natural gas and strengthen the security of supply.
Venture Global is thrilled to welcome EnBW as a long-term customer for both our Plaquemines and CP2 LNG facilities. This is the first direct binding offtake agreement for long-term US LNG signed by a German company, an important step that manifests Germany’s strategy to diversify its energy mix.
As the operator of the GKN II nuclear power plant in Neckarwestheim, EnBW faced a lawsuit in 2022 due to concerns that the power plant could no longer be operated safely. The verdict is in and the court has decided that the power plant can continue to be operated until it is decommissioned in April 2023. The safety of the power plant was tested extensively and confirmed by the Ministry for the Environment during a recent inspection. In order to guarantee the security of supply, EnBW thus placed the power plant back into operation following the inspection. It will continue to operate until it is finally shut down on 15 April 2023.
We have always emphasized that EnBW will support the efforts of the German government to maintain a secure supply of energy during the current crisis. We are acutely aware of the responsibility we have as one of the largest energy suppliers in Germany. The work that has now started will ensure that GKN II can generate as much electricity as possible and make it available to the electricity grid. At the same time, we remain committed to our master plan for the dismantling of the nuclear power plants. We have already been successfully implementing this plan for many years at our other four nuclear power plants and GKN II is next in line after it has been shut down. We remain committed to the phaseout of nuclear power.