German court rules in favour of Kaikas wind farm

In: Windfarms
20/08/2020
The First Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court in Germany has ruled that the exclusion of the Kaikas project from future tenders without compensation under the Act to Develop and Promote Offshore Wind Energy (Offshore Wind Energy Act) was unconstitutional.
Prior to the introduction of the Offshore Wind Energy Act, wpd's Kaikas project, which is located in the German North Sea, was approved by the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic in 2013. This granted wpd permission to construct and operate the project however it has failed to secure connection rights through the German capacity auction rounds. The project could have seen the installation of up to 80 wind turbines in the 7MW range providing an overall capacity of 581MW.

However with the introduction of the Offshore Wind Energy Act, which was established as a method to promote tenders for the further cost-efficient expansion of offshore wind energy, developers who had previously invested in project development were awarded 'right of entry'. This right of entry provides developers the opportunity to realise their project at the conditions awarded after the auction - even if another company has been awarded the contract. 

Kaikas was the only offshore wind project to be excluded from the tenders required by the offshore wind energy law - without compensation. This came as a result of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency declaring in March 2015 offshore wind energy projects in zones 3 to 5 would not be continued because there was no prospect of a near-term grid connection. 

The First Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court held that the Offshore Wind Energy Act has a quasi-retroactive effect that is not entirely justified under constitutional law. The complainants are to receive financial compensation for any necessary expenses for planning and site investigations insofar as this can be of use to the preparatory site investigation conducted by the state under Offshore Wind Energy Act.


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