Projects at Risk After Denmark Suspends Offshore Wind Open Door Scheme

HOFOR (Greater Copenhagen Utility) has warned that several of its offshore wind projects will be negatively affected by the Danish Energy Agency’s decision to suspend the processing of offshore wind farm projects and other renewable energy projects under the open door scheme.


The Ministry of Climate, Energy and Supply has assessed that the so-called Open Door scheme for wind turbine projects may be in breach of EU law. Therefore, the Danish Energy Agency has put the case processing of all pending cases under the scheme on hold until the scheme’s relation to EU law has been investigated in more detail.

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HOFOR’s CEO, Henrik Plougmann Olsen, has urged the government to expedite the proceedings in regard to the potential breaches of EU law.

For HOFOR, the expediency on the issue is primarily important for the Aflandshage wind farm, which at the end of 2022 had its application for an establishment permit approved.

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The proposed wind farm in southern Øresund can produce green electricity for around 300,000 households and is planned to be fully operational in 2026.

After eleven years of work to obtain the necessary state permits, HOFOR said that it is very close to entering into a final contract to establish the wind farm.

If the legal basis is not clarified very quickly, HOFOR said that the project may risk failure, one of the reasons being a delay in the start of production which would affect the off-takers.

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”Several of HOFOR’s projects are covered by the open door scheme. But it is particularly worrying for us that Aflandshage Wind Farm has now been put on hold, as we are very far along in the process. We are currently in full swing with seabed surveys and a number of large tenders, and according to the plan, in the very near future we must enter into an agreement for the delivery of a total of 26 large offshore wind turbines. Therefore, it is critical for us if it drags on for a long time to get the foundations in place,” said Olsen said.

Olsen also expressed satisfaction with the Minister’s announcement that the government will seek quick answers on the issue, adding that time is absolutely crucial to the Aflandshage project.

In addition to Aflandshage, the decision to put open-door projects on hold also has implications for two of HOFOR’s other offshore wind turbine projects.

This partly applies to the planned life extension of HOFOR’s aging offshore wind turbines on the Middelgrunden off Copenhagen. But also HOFOR’s other major project with new offshore wind turbines in Øresund, the Nordre Flint wind farm.

”This is also a problem for our unique and innovative project to renovate and extend the life of the iconic offshore wind turbines on Middelgrunden. We are working seriously to double the lifespan of the wind turbines, so that they can deliver green power for up to 25 more years. The project is just about to get the final permit from the Danish Energy Agency after several years of preparation,” Olsen said.

The 160 MW Nordre Flint wind farm is proposed to be built some 10 kilometres from the south point of Amager.

”The Nordre Flint project is still in a dialogue phase, where we are clarifying with Copenhagen Airport and the aviation authorities what the possibility is of establishing modern offshore wind turbines at the location. Therefore, the Danish Energy Agency’s decision to put the projects on hold is less critical for Nordre Flint Wind Farm than for our other two projects. But the project can potentially deliver green power that is roughly equivalent to the consumption of 160,000 households, so it is still important for our planning that we clarify the EU legal basis as soon as possible,” Olsen said.

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