AWS and EWE launch cooperative enterprise

The Aloys Wobben Foundation, sole shareholder of Aurich-based wind turbine manufacturer ENERCON, and Oldenburg-based energy service provider EWE have come a decisive step closer to the establishment of a joint venture to expand onshore wind energy: on Tuesday, the partners signed a corresponding shareholder and investment agreement which stipulates that each side holds 50 per cent of the shares and that the existing ENERCON and EWE wind farms and onshore projects will be incorporated in the future joint venture. The objective is to develop into one of the largest generators of eco-power in Germany and France in the coming years and also to grow internationally. Investments are planned with a total volume of up to EUR 4 billion by 2030. The company headquarters will be in Aurich, although the approximately 200 employees in the core markets are expected to be distributed at several locations including Oldenburg. Closing of the transaction, which is expected to take place in spring 2021, is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities.

Heiko Janssen, Chief Executive Officer of the Aloys Wobben Foundation

“With this signature, we affirm our common objective of creating a strong new player in the renewables sector. The joint venture is based on a portfolio that is among the largest in the industry, a solid foundation of first-class expertise and decades of experience in both firms, the passionate commitment of dedicated employees and an impeccable reputation with our partners. On this basis, we want to grow together and make a decisive impact on the energy turnaround, both in Germany and abroad. Already today, both firms are characterised by the high standards they set themselves as well as their firm commitment to 100% renewable energies, climate protection, sustainability and the preservation of creation. By bundling our strengths, we increase our impact considerably to the ultimate benefit of the conversion of energy supply systems to renewables and climate protection.”

Stefan Dohler, Chief Executive Officer of EWE AG

“In recent months, we have created the basis for a common enterprise that will be a key player in the desperately needed expansion of wind energy generation in Germany and Europe. Our collaborative partnership developed step by step, allowing us to arrive at the point where we are today. We want to increase the share of renewable energies significantly and permanently across sectors because without enough eco-power, the sustainable conversion of our society and a climate-neutral Europe will remain wishful thinking. Our joint company, with its roots in the region, will therefore focus on growth, cover the complete value chain, and combine both firms’ years of expertise so that we gain new strength.”

Thekla Wobben, chairwoman of the advisory board of the Aloys Wobben Stiftung

“The ENERCON network started out over 35 years ago with the aim of contributing to climate-friendly energy generation with modern wind energy converters. Despite various different obstacles, the company went through unprecedented development over the next decades, the likes of which nobody could have predicted. Today, together with the EWE, we will lay the foundations for another

chapter: with a unique wind farm portfolio at its basis, the joint venture can realise much more potential and open up further application possibilities for the energy transition. As a result, the contribution we make towards achieving climate protection targets will be significantly increased.”

Bernhard Bramlage, Chairman of the EWE Supervisory Board

“Like the Aloys Wobben Foundation, EWE can look back on decades of tradition in expanding wind energy. Since then, major milestones in the energy transition have emerged here in the region. The joint company will continue on this successful path. EWE is consequently pursuing the strategic goal agreed between the Management Board, the Supervisory Board and the majority of municipal shareholders, to grow significantly in the area of green electricity generation from onshore wind and to make substantial contributions to climate protection. We therefore approved the project with pleasure and with full conviction.”

The new company will have more than 2,300 megawatts of installed capacity and a project pipeline of over 9,400 megawatts. This makes it the market leader in onshore wind in Germany. The goal is to expand by more than 200 megawatts annually and to increase the portfolio to as much as 5 gigawatts in 2030. The company plans to develop its own projects in the core market and also to develop customer projects. Outside the core market, the joint venture – which will also include Düsseldorf-based direct marketer Quadra Energy – will only build up a small amount of its own stocks. The company takes a manufacturer-independent approach in the implementation of its projects. Corporate management will lie within EWE’s remit, while the Aloys Wobben Foundation will appoint the chair of the Supervisory Board.

AWS and EWE had made public their plans for collaboration in late April and announced that they wanted to clarify key details and reach a contractual agreement by year end. In September, the partners initiated a joint wind summit in Aurich and signed the “Aurich Appeal” that was introduced by Lower Saxony’s environment minister Olaf Lies. In an expression of solidarity, the worlds of politics and business called for acceleration of wind expansion and for legal and regulatory framework conditions to be adjusted. In addition, EWE announced in early December that it would be climate neutral itself by 2035.

Bu: Stefan Dohler, Vorstandsvorsitzender EWE AG (left), Heiko  Janssen, Vorstandsvorsitzender Aloys Wobben Stiftung (right) during the signing .