It’s green lights all the way for the EnBW offshore wind farm Hohe See. Following the final construction and investment decision taken by the Supervisory Board of EnBW at the end of 2016, the co-investor for this major project with an output of around 500 Megawatts has now been confirmed: The Canadian energy infrastructure company Enbridge Inc. has acquired 49.9 percent of the shares in EnBW Hohe See, while EnBW will retain the remaining 50.1 percent of the shares. The two companies will jointly execute and participate in the project. According to the participation model agreed between the companies, both partners will jointly finance the implementation of the offshore wind farm from construction through to commissioning. EnBW will control and monitor all activities during the further realisation of the project. Enbridge will support the project with its own employees who will be integrated into the EnBW project team. EnBW will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the finished wind farm based on a service and management contract.
EnBW Hohe See will be constructed in the so-called “exclusive economic zone” of the North Sea around 90 kilometres north of Borkum and 100 kilometres northwest of Helgoland covering an area of 42 square kilometres. Following the planned commissioning of the wind farm in 2019, it will generate around two billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year with its output of 497 Megawatts, distributed across 71 wind turbines. This energy will supply around 560,000 households and save around 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
The construction phase of the project has now been initiated with the issuing of the notice to proceed to the suppliers of the main infrastructure work. EnBW Hohe See is thus the largest German offshore wind farm project currently being built and as such represents a further milestone in the strategic orientation of the Karlsruhe-based energy company towards renewable energies. The company has already successfully placed two major wind farms in the German Baltic Sea into operation: EnBW Baltic 1 and EnBW Baltic 2.
“With Enbridge at our side, we can realise our largest offshore wind farm to date and at the same time generate financial scope through this participation for the development of new projects. This is now the third successful participation model with which we are sharing the risk and represents another major step in the implementation of our EnBW 2020 strategy”, according to EnBW CEO Frank Mastiaux. “With an investment volume of around 1.8 billion euro, we have not only taken one of the largest investment decisions in the history of our company but despite the currently difficult economic conditions, we are continuing to rigorously invest in the implementation of our strategy and through EnBW Hohe See we are developing another cornerstone for safeguarding the future of EnBW. Following its commissioning in 2019, the wind farm will make a substantial contribution to our Group operating result”, added Mastiaux.
“We’re excited to join a partner of EnBW’s proven capabilities and leadership in power generation on what will be a very meaningful project in the German Energiewende,” said Enbridge President and CEO Al Monaco. “The Hohe See project is consistent with Enbridge’s strategy to increase our presence in the renewable power business and it comes with an additional organic growth opportunity within the European offshore wind market. We like this business, and this project in particular, as it is supported by strong commercial underpinnings and provides attractive returns that are consistent with our investor value proposition.”
Albatros – a further offshore wind farm – already under joint examination
Following the formation of the partnership, Enbridge also has an option to participate in another EnBW project in the North Sea: the offshore wind farm Albatros. The detailed examination of the technical and economic framework conditions for the project has already reached an advanced stage. The Supervisory Board of EnBW is still expected to take the decision on whether to construct the offshore wind farm in early 2017, which could be realised together with Hohe See and thus offer synergies during the erection and operational phases. Albatros currently has a binding approval for grid connections of 116 Megawatts – which means that a joint project with an output of around 610 Megawatts could be developed by 2019.
“Green light” for the suppliers: concrete realisation can now begin
The supply contracts for all main infrastructure work for EnBW Hohe See were already concluded at the beginning of 2016. The first contractual phase was the design of the wind farm, comprising the precise calculations for the foundation structures, the layout of the array cabling and the detailed planning for the substation. Following successful certification of the design, EnBW has now also given the green light for the production, installation and commissioning of the offshore wind farm with a so-called “notice to proceed”. Siemens AG has been commissioned to supply and install 71 wind turbines of type SWT-7.0-154 including the corresponding monopile turbine foundations. The contractual partner for the array cabling at the wind farm is VBMS GmbH, while a consortium consisting of ENGIE Fabricom, Iemants NV and CG Holdings Belgium NV is responsible for the offshore substation.