Bloomberg News

Trianel Files Suit Against TenneT on German Offshore Wind Delays

October 23, 2012

Trianel GmbH, a group of German municipal utilities building a 200-megawatt wind farm in the North Sea, filed a suit against TenneT TSO GmbH because of delays connecting the project to the power grid.

Trianel had to postpone until next year installation of a transformer station and 40 Areva SA-made turbines after TenneT informed it that the first grid link would be delayed from this month to at least June 2013, said Klaus Horstick, head of the group’s project company. That raises the cost of the Borkum farm by about 50 million euros ($65 million), to at least 900 million euros, he told reporters today in Berlin.

“We have invested, the turbines are sitting at the pier but the grid connection is missing,” Horstick said. Trianel had to adjust its installation plan, will put the turbines in storage and pay for a new slot to install them, he said.

The delay is a further setback to developers eager to meet Germany’s target of 25 gigawatts of sea-based turbines by 2030. It adds to pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to help end the delays. Dong Energy A/S yesterday said it suspended work on a nearby wind farm because the company lacked a deal on connecting it to the grid.

Trianel filed the suit with the regional court in Bayreuth in early October as it seeks compensation for the cost overruns, Horstick said. Thomas Goger, a spokesman for the court, confirmed the case in a phone interview.

The DolWin 1 grid connection project has been delayed by nine months after supplier ABB Ltd. informed the operator of issues linked to supplying the converter platform on time, said Cornelia Junge, a spokeswoman for TenneT.

‘Very Complex’

Linking sea-based turbines to the grid “is a very complex matter and everyone is entering unchartered territory,” she said today by phone, declining to comment on the suit.

ABB didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

RWE AG (RWE), the country’s second-biggest utility, said in July it stalled a decision on building the Innogy Nordsee 1 offshore site until next year as it waits for the government to set out who will pay for delays.

Lawmakers from the main political parties yesterday questioned experts over a bill backed by Merkel’s Cabinet of Ministers that seeks to fix the liability issue. The bill as it stands would fail to protect Trianel for its cost overruns, according to Horstick.

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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