(OW) After awarding four offshore wind areas to BP and TotalEnergies for EUR 12.6 billion through its first dynamic bidding process last month, the German Federal Network Agency (BSH) has now awarded further sites for a total of EUR 784 million in the process organised for four centrally pre-investigated areas.
Three of the new four areas in the North Sea (N-3.5, N-3.6, N-6.6 and N-6.7) have been secured by RWE and one by Waterkant Energy, with Vattenfall holding step-in rights for one of the sites that were awarded to RWE, which the Swedish company can exercise until 14 September.
The bidding process was based on qualitative criteria. In addition to the willingness to pay in Euros for a respective area, criteria such as the decarbonisation of offshore operations and the use of environmentally friendly foundation technologies were taken into account.
The wind farms at the four sites, which could house a total of 1.8 GW of offshore wind capacity, are scheduled for commissioning in 2028.
RWE has secured the N-3.6 and N-3.5 areas, for which the company already held step-in rights, without a negative bid component. The two sites are where RWE plans to build its Nordseecluster B project which comprises two wind farms with a total capacity of 900 MW. The company already secured sites for the 660 MW Nordseecluster A development in 2021.
The BSH has also provisionally awarded RWE the N-6.6 site for an offshore wind farm with a capacity of 630 MW. The further development of the project by RWE is still subject to the exercise of the step-in right by Vattenfall, with the Swedish company having until 14 September to do so, according to information from the BSH.
Last year, Vattenfall exercised its step-in right for an area won by RWE with a zero-subsidy bid. The area, N-7.2 in the German North Sea, is where Vattenfall plans to build its Nordlicht I (Northern Light I) 980 MW offshore wind farm. For the N-6.6 site, now provisionally awarded to RWE, the step-in right is held by Vattenfall’s project company Vattenfall Nordlicht II Offshore Wind.
The fourth site that BSH awarded through the last auction round in Germany, N-6.7, was secured by Waterkant Energy.
The Federal Network Agency will use 90 per cent of the fees to be paid by the winners, which total EUR 784 million, to reduce electricity costs for consumers, five per cent for marine nature conservation and another five per cent for the promotion of environmentally friendly fishing.
The proportions of the bid values awarded for marine nature conservation must be paid into the federal budget within one year. Starting with the completion date of the wind farms in 2028, the electricity cost reduction component is to be paid over a period of 20 years in constant annual instalments to the transmission system operator who is responsible for the project’s grid connection.
The BSH has the same plan for the use of the proceeds from the previous auction round, in which BP and TotalEnergies were each awarded two sites.
Last month, the BSH published the results of the tenders for four offshore wind areas with a combined capacity of 7 GW, which had not been centrally pre-investigated with regard to the marine environment, the subsoil and the wind and oceanographic conditions: N-11.1, N-12.1, and N-12.2 in the North Sea and the area O-2.2 in the Baltic Sea.
The previous auction rund entered the dynamic bidding (negative bidding) stage after the Federal Network Agency received eight zero-subsidy bids for the three North Sea areas and nine zero-subsidy bids for the Baltic Sea area, which generated EUR 12.6 billion in proceeds.