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German offshore wind connection hit by further delays

25 Jun 2012, 3.58 pm GMT

German offshore wind connection hit by further delays

London, 25 June (Argus) — A number of German offshore wind parks will face further delays in coming on stream as the completion of two network connection platforms has been pushed back to 2014.

Dutch-German grid operator Tennet today said that its BorWin 2 and HelWin 1 network connection projects, connecting four offshore wind parks with a combined capacity of 1.3GW to the inland grid, will be delayed to 2014.

Tennet originally expected to complete the projects this year before pushing back commissioning to 2013.

“Tennet has been informed by its general contractor, Siemens, that the installation of HelWin alpha and Borwin beta will face further delays,” the grid operator said.

The operator is in close contact with Siemens to push ahead with the connection as quickly as possible, it said.

The BorWin 2 platform will connect the 400MW Veja Mate and 400MW Global Tech 1 wind farms to the inland grid. And HelWin 1 will connect the 288MW Meerwind and 295MW NordseeOst wind parks to the German grid.

German utility RWE has previously said that it expects to make losses in the “three-digit millions” because of the delay in starting up its 295MW Nordsee Ost offshore wind park. This was before the further delays announced by Tennet today.

RWE was not immediately available for comment today.

The German government is under pressure to alter the regulatory framework ahead of the summer break to safeguard investment in the offshore wind industry, with Berlin planning to have 10GW in offshore capacity installed by 2020.

The working group of the German offshore wind energy foundation, tasked with proposing solutions to improve the framework for network connection of offshore wind farms, in March presented a package of measures to the economy and environment ministries aimed at solving key issues that hamper network connection projects.

Liability issues surrounding delayed, cancelled or defective grid connections is one of the key issues that chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government will have to solve to speed up the sluggish progress in delivering cable projects.

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