RWE Innogy today announced that it has acquired the project company ENOVA Energieanlagen GmbH, which is part of the ENOVA Group. This acquisition includes the rights to the offshore wind project North Sea Windpower 3 (NSWP3). Following the acquisition, the wind farm will be renamed Innogy Nordsee 1. Upon approval from the authorities, this will be the largest planned offshore wind farm off the German coast with an anticipated 960 megawatts capacity. It is to be built 40 kilometres north of the North Sea island of Juist, with a area of around 150 km2.
RWE Innogy and ENOVA expect to receive the approval by the end of 2009; initial preparations could then start in 2010. The first wind turbines should start running as early as 2011. The whole wind farm is expected to be completed in 2015. The total investment for the project is around €2,8bn.
Dr. Juergen Grossmann, Chief Executive Officer of RWE AG: “Some 1,000 megawatts of windpower on the high seas – that is the largest single project RWE has undertaken so far in the area of renewables. Even in these times of economic crisis, RWE Innogy is consciously stepping up its investment pace.”
For RWE, the construction of Innogy Nordsee 1 is a clear commitment to help achieve the climate protection targets of the German government and the European Union. The wind farm will avoid approximately 2.6 million tonnes of CO2 annually*). It will also make an important contribution towards achieving RWE’s ambitious renewables targets. By 2012, RWE wants to have secured a power generation capacity of around 4,500 MW on the basis of renewables. Through these investments, the Group is aiming to avoid up to 15 million tonnes of CO2 per year. The core market is Europe.
Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, Chief Executive Officer of RWE Innogy: “In Germany, the construction of an offshore wind farm is a very ambitious project due to the high requirements. In contrast to other North Sea countries, we have to build comparatively far off the coast in deep waters. This requires the highest demands for planning, implementation and technology. I am therefore pleased that we are moving ahead with such an important project, particularly in Germany, with ENOVA and above all Helmuth Bruemmer as a partner. I am sure that we have the right team on board to cope with this challenging task.”
Helmuth Bruemmer, the owner and Managing Director of the ENOVA Group, added: “To date, we have invested almost 10 years of development in realising our offshore projects. It is therefore also a major success for me personally to be able to implement the upcoming tasks together with RWE Innogy. With RWE Innogy, we have found the right partner to realise one of the largest offshore projects in the world.” At the time of the acquisition, the project company ENOVA Energieanlagen GmbH only had the rights to the wind farm NSWP3. Shares in other projects were released from the company beforehand.
Innogy Nordsee 1 is to be built 40 kilometres north of the North Sea island of Juist in water which is 26 to 34 metres deep. 150 to 180 wind turbines with a capacity of 5 or 6 megawatts each are planned for the wind farm. Site tests suggest that it can run at just under 4,000 full-load hours and can therefore supply a total of over three TWh of electricity per year. For an offshore wind farm, that is a comparatively good figure. This quantity is enough to supply electricity to at least 780,000 households. The negotiations with REpower concerning a framework agreement for up to 250 wind turbines with a capacity of 5 or 6 megawatts each are at a very advanced stage; we expect the contract to be signed at the beginning of next year.
At the beginning of November, RWE Innogy acquired 50% in the British offshore wind farm Greater Gabbard, which will have a capacity of a total of 500 MW after its completion, which is anticipated for 2011. The company also runs the 60 MW offshore wind farm in North Hoyle off the coast of Wales and is building the 90 MW Rhyl Flats wind farm, which is also off the coast of Wales. The planned offshore wind farm Gwynt y Môr will be one of the largest of its kind in the world with a capacity of 750 MW.
In the Netherlands, RWE Innogy is applying for a licence for a production capacity of 2,000 MW at two locations which are of particular economic interest.
ENOVA’s offshore projects cover all areas in the North Sea: In 2004, the company built Germany’s first nearshore wind energy turbine completely on water. Together with EWE AG, ENOVA is developing and realising the offshore wind farm RIFFGAT in the 12 sm North Sea zone, approximately 15 km north west of the island of Borkum. Up to 44 multi-megawatt wind energy turbines are to be built here. By transferring the Innogy Nordsee 1 project, ENOVA has achieved its goal of transferring all planned offshore projects to partners which have the potential to build and run them. ENOVA is still involved in the implementation of the projects with all partners.
*) Calculated based on the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research’s report on CO2 reduction in the electricity sector by using renewables.