Photo from Borkum Riffgrund 2 which came into operation in 2018.

Germany Launches 7 GW Offshore Wind Tender

Germany’s Federal Network Agency has launched a tender for four areas in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea with a combined offshore wind capacity of 7 GW.

Illustration; Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind farm in Germany; Photo source: Ørsted

Three areas (N-11.1, N-12.1, and N-12.2), each with an output of 2,000 MW, are located in the North Sea, and one area (O-2.2) with a capacity of 1,000 MW is in the Baltic Sea.

The areas in the North Sea are about 120 kilometres northwest of Heligoland and the Baltic Sea area is about 25 kilometres off Rügen Island.

The commissioning of offshore wind farms is scheduled for 2030.

In order to achieve the expansion targets of 30 GW, areas will now be put out for auction for which the successful bidders must carry out the preliminary investigations before the construction of a wind farm on their own responsibility, the Federal Network Agency said.

A state preliminary investigation of the sites, which analyses, for example, the marine environment, seabed and wind conditions as well as oceanographic conditions, does not exist for the areas that are auctioned and are therefore referred to as non-centrally pre-examined areas.

The auction will be held using the so-called “dynamic” bidding process which will allow Germany to differentiate and select between multiple bids with a bid value of zero.

If multiple bids are tied for the lowest value, the bidder with the highest willingness to pay is then awarded the contract.

This “negative bidding” arrangement was critised by the wind industry in the past.

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From the dynamic process, 90 per cent of the proceeds will be used to reduce electricity costs, along with five per cent for marine nature conservation and another 5 per cent to support environmentally friendly fishing.

Interested parties have until 1 June to submit their bids.

After the award procedure has been carried out, the successful bidder will have the right to apply to the competent Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) for planning approval for the development of offshore wind farms.

In addition to the tenders announced, the Federal Network Agency will launch further zones for offshore wind energy by 1 March 2023.

These concern areas have been centrally pre-examined by BSH and have a total capacity of 1,800 MW.

Germany recently published a new area development plan which maps out the build-out of offshore wind by 2030, by when the country is to reach 30 GW of capacity connected to its grid.

In order to accelerate the expansion, the plan concentrates on the existing areas, with further potential areas identified, which adds up to 36.5 GW of total capacity.

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