EnBW’s final investment decision (FID) clears the way for the start of construction of its largest offshore wind farm to date, with an installed capacity of 960 MW. “The FID for the construction of our He Dreiht offshore wind farm is an important milestone in accelerating the energy transition,” said EnBW CEO Andreas Schell. “Long planning horizons and extensive preparatory work in the offshore wind industry require a high degree of foresight, expertise, and readiness to make decisions and invest. This is another big step toward a carbon-free energy future.”
“In He Dreiht, we are building one of Germany’s largest offshore wind farms,” said EnBW CFO Thomas Kusterer. “We succeeded in the first German offshore tender in 2017 with a zero-cent bid and made an important contribution to the further development of the offshore market.”
EnBW said that a combination of factors made the zero-cent bid possible, including the installation of wind turbine technology, synergies with existing sites, and long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with industrial customers, which have a stabilizing effect on wind farm revenues. This subsidy-free offshore wind farm is currently one of the largest energy transition projects in Europe. The investment cost for He Dreiht is around US$2.6 billion. It is expected to be operational by the end of 2025. He Dreiht will then generate green electricity for the equivalent of 1.1 million households.
“With the sale of a 49.9% minority stake to a consortium consisting of Allianz Capital Partners on behalf of Allianz insurance companies, AIP, and Norges Bank Investment Management, we have succeeded in bringing highly professional and experienced partners on board even before construction begins,” said Kusterer.
EnBW has so far signed several long-term PPAs for He Dreiht with well-known companies such as Fraport, Evonik, Salzgitter and Bosch, covering a total volume of 335 MW. Talks with other companies are underway.
In the expansion of renewables, PPAs are an important means of underpinning and financing unsubsidized projects in the market. At the same time, more and more companies are striving to become carbon neutral, creating growing demand for green, carbon-free power. By entering into PPAs, companies and municipal utilities gain access to green power to meet their own climate targets and serve their customers.
To finance this major project, EnBW has secured an additional US$652.7 million in long-term funding from the European Investment Bank, one of the world’s largest financiers of climate and environmental projects.
EnBW’s existing offshore wind farms Hohe See and Albatros are located near He Dreiht. EnBW said that He Dreiht will benefit from this proximity and from the service hub already established in the coastal town of Emden. The plan is for the installation of 64 latest-generation Vestas wind turbines.
Introduced to the market as the first 15-MW wind turbine, these are among the most powerful in operation today. They give He Dreiht a total installed generating capacity of 960 MW. This means that the 900-MW grid connection capacity guaranteed for He Dreiht can be fully utilized. EnBW received the plan approval decision and thus the permit for the He Dreiht offshore wind farm from the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) in December 2022.