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EnBW He Dreiht offshore wind farm

Powerful energy in the North Sea without state funding

The He Dreiht North Sea wind farm at a glance

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The Low German name for EnBW’s third wind farm in the North Sea – He Dreiht or “It Spins” – could hardly be a more apt description: From the end of 2025, the 64 wind turbines with an installed output of 960 MW around 90 kilometers northwest of the island of Borkum and 110 kilometers west of Helgoland will be connected to the grid. As one of the first offshore wind farms to be built without state funding, it will instantly double EnBW’s offshore portfolio of 976 MW.

Following the commissioning of the EnBW Hohe See and Albatros wind farms in the North Sea, the He Dreiht wind farm is taking things into completely different dimensions, with the Vestas V236-15 turbines, each capable of generating an output of 15 MW, being used commercially for the first time. EnBW is thus once again playing a pioneering role on the high seas. With a total installed output of 960 MW, He Dreiht is also currently one of Europe’s largest energy transition projects and will be able to supply 1.1 million households with renewable energy.

At a hub height of 142 meters, the rotor with a diameter of 236 meters sweeps through an area of 43,742 square meters per revolution – equivalent to the area of six football fields. 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.

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A map of the area around He Dreiht
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A wind farm without state funding – how does it work?

As one of the first wind farms to be built without state funding, He Dreiht will receive no feed-in remuneration from the Renewable Energy Act (Erneuerbaren-Energien-Gesetz or EEG). EnBW is focusing on PPAs – or power purchase agreements – as a kind of substitute for the classic EEG funding. These long-term purchase agreements between producers and often large-scale industrial customers are becoming a key instrument in the energy transition. The corporate PPAs enable the wind farm operator to generate calculable income, while the electricity users hedge against market price developments by getting their energy from renewable sources. Long-term power purchase agreements for the green energy generated by He Dreiht have already been signed with notable partners such as the operating company of Frankfurt Airport (Fraport), which is purchasing 85 MW, Evonik (150 MW), Salzgitter (50 MW), Bosch (50 MW), Deutsche Bahn (20MW) and Telekom subsidiary PASM (100MW).

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Cooperation partners on board

A sum of around 2.4 billion euros is being invested in He Drehit. EnBW has secured long-term financing of 600 million euros for the project from the European Investment Bank, one of the world’s largest financial backers of climate change mitigation and environmental projects.

In addition, through the sale of a minority stake of 49.9 percent to a consortium of Allianz Capital Partners on behalf of the Allianz companies, AIP and Norges Bank, highly professional and experienced partners are already on board before construction begins.

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Nature and environmental concerns

During the planning and implementation of an offshore wind farm, we feel a special commitment to the environment and nature to ensure that our projects are in harmony with their concerns. This is particularly important in a sensitive habitat such as the German North Sea. An environmental impact assessment was therefore carried out for the He Dreiht offshore wind farm as part of the approval process. A generally understandable, non-technical summary of the results can be found here.

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EnBW He Dreiht

The figures at a glance

Installed output
960 MW
Annual yield
3.6 billion kWh
64 Vestas V236-15
Hub height
142 meters
Rotor diameter
236 meters
Swept area
43,742 square meters = roughly 6 football fields
Average wind speed
10,4 m/s
Water depth
37.7–40.6 meters
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