The EU Commission has exempted the Kriegers Flak Combined Grid Solution project from the current regulation which stipulates that at least 70 per cent of the interconnector capacity between European countries must be made available for cross-border electricity trading.
The exemption is initially limited to ten years and includes an extension option that limits the total period of validity of the regulation to a maximum of 25 years.
The derogation now granted by the EU Commission specifically provides that after deducting the (previous day’s) forecast for the wind feed-in of the German offshore wind farms Baltic 1, Baltic 2, and Denmark’s Kriegers Flak, the remaining capacity is to be made available to the market for cross-border electricity trade between Germany and Denmark.
“The EU decision shows that projects such as KF CGS, which was planned more than ten years ago and has now been inaugurated, are possible, although the legal framework has changed in the course of the project’s progress as a result of the Clean Energy Package with the 70 percent rule,” Stefan Kapferer, CEO of 50Hertz, said.
”This means that the climate-friendly, CO2-free power generation of the offshore wind farms Kriegers Flak, Baltic 1 and Baltic 2 can be fully utilized, as only the remaining line capacity is used for electricity trading.”
According to Kapferer, the EU should now establish a general, stable, and reliable legal framework for future hybrid interconnector projects, because the KF CGS project, the world’s first interconnector of its kind, will certainly not be the last.
Officially launched in October, Kriegers Flak CGS connects the Danish region of Zealand with the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania via the Kriegers Flak and the Baltic 2 wind farms.
The 400 MW high-voltage cable system is the world’s first offshore interconnector using the national grid connections of offshore wind farms to connect the power grids of the two countries.
The project has been developed jointly by Germany’s 50Hertz and Denmark’s Energinet.
“It is very positive that the EU accepts that Kriegers Flak Combined Grid Solution is a unique project that operates under very different conditions than traditional interconnectors,” Søren Dupont Kristensen, CEO at Energinet Electricity System Operator, said.
”We are very pleased that the Commission has given a 10 years derogation with possibility of further 15 years of derogation. The legislation which will ensure that at least 70 percent of the capacity of an interconnector always is available to the electricity market is incompatible with the design of this groundbreaking KF CGS project, which combines offshore wind farms with an interconnector to create maximum utilization of the cables and thereby an efficient and cheaper green transition for society.”
The EU decision has also been positively received by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
“Hybrid projects such as the Combined Grid Solution are particularly innovative solutions with a twofold effect – on the one hand, the power lines transport wind power from the offshore wind farms to the consumers, and on the other hand, they enable additional cross-border trade in times when there is no wind. It is good that the operators can use the power line in this sense thanks to the derogation granted by the European Commission,” said Andreas Feicht, State Secretary at Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
”However, it is important for the future to obtain clear European regulations for hybrid projects. The aim must be to enable effective grid access for offshore wind power from hybrid projects.”