Bloomberg News

RWE Delays Decision on Innogy Nordsee Wind Farm Until 2013

July 25, 2012

RWE AG (RWE), Germany’s second-largest utility, postponed a decision on whether to build the Innogy Nordsee 1 offshore wind farm until 2013 as it waits for the government to set out who will pay for any connection delays.

RWE is waiting for legislation “that compensates us for damages linked to possible delays in the grid connection,” said Barbara Woydtke, a spokeswoman for RWE’s Innogy renewable-energy unit. RWE “needs to see a draft bill,” she said by phone from Essen. The company had originally planned to decide this year.

The country this month agreed to draft a bill in the summer to compensate operators for delays in connecting turbines to the power grid. RWE and EON AG threatened to halt investment because of problems including delays in gaining approvals, and acquiring cables and transformer stations. RWE postponed its decision on what may become a 1-gigawatt farm at the Nordsee development.

While the company began foundations for the 295-megawatt Nordsee Ost project in Germany’s part of the North Sea, it can’t install turbines until there’s a grid link.

“If the wind park can’t work, it costs us 100 million euros ($121 million) a year,” Rolf Martin Schmitz, RWE’s deputy chief executive officer, told reporters on June 27 in Berlin.

EON is committed to investing in its Amrumbank West project and start building the 288-megawatt farm next near, Christian Drepper, a company spokesman, said today by phone. EON said in February that Amrumbank West would be delayed for 15 months.

While grid connection “is a problem,” Drepper said, EON is “optimistic because the federal government has identified the problem and we expect it to solve it in the fall.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government plans to operate 25 gigawatts of turbines in German waters by 2030 to replace nuclear reactors shuttered by 2022. Handelsblatt reported the RWE delay earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net


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