Canadian Enbridge Inc takes huge stake in German offshore windfarm

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 17/02/2017 4C Offshore
Siemens (SWT-7.0-154)EnBW has informed its supply chain that it will now move forward with the construction of the Hohe See offshore wind farm following investment from Canadian energy infrastructure company Enbridge.

Enbridge has acquired 49.9 percent of the shares in EnBW Hohe See, while EnBW will retain the remaining 50.1 percent of the shares. According to the participation model agreed between the companies, both partners will jointly finance the implementation of the offshore wind farm from construction through to commissioning.

Enbridge Inc. has taken on this investment despite facing a number of set backs with its investment in French project Fecamp (renamed Eoliennes Offshore des Hautes Falaises offshore wind farm).

“We’re excited to join a partner of EnBW’s proven capabilities and leadership in power generation on what will be a very meaningful project in the German Energiewende,”
said Enbridge President and CEO Al Monaco. “The Hohe See project is consistent with Enbridge’s strategy to increase our presence in the renewable power business and it comes with an additional organic growth opportunity within the European offshore wind market. We like this business, and this project in particular, as it is supported by strong commercial underpinnings and provides attractive returns that are consistent with our investor value proposition.”

EnBW will control and monitor all activities during the further realisation of the project. Enbridge will support the project with its own employees who will be integrated into the EnBW project team. EnBW will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the finished wind farm based on a service and management contract.

"With Enbridge at our side, we can realise our largest offshore wind farm to date and at the same time generate financial scope through this participation for the development of new projects. This is now the third successful participation model with which we are sharing the risk and represents another major step in the implementation of our EnBW 2020 strategy”,
according to EnBW CEO Frank Mastiaux. “With an investment volume of around 1.8 billion euro, we have not only taken one of the largest investment decisions in the history of our company but despite the currently difficult economic conditions, we are continuing to rigorously invest in the implementation of our strategy and through EnBW Hohe See we are developing another cornerstone for safeguarding the future of EnBW. Following its commissioning in 2019, the wind farm will make a substantial contribution to our Group operating result”, added Mastiaux.

Hohe See offshore wind farm will be constructed in the German Economic Exclusive Zone of the North Sea around 90km north of Borkum and 100km northwest of Helgoland, covering an area of 42km2. Following commissioning, slated for 2019, it is anticipated to generate around two billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year meeting the energy demands of around 560,000 German households.  The wind farm will be connected to the German high voltage grid via the BorWin3 converter platform installed by Siemens on behalf of grid operator TenneT.

EnBW has issued the notice to proceed to a number suppliers of the main infrastructure work which were concluded at the beginning of 2016.

Siemens AG was selected as main supplier for the project as has been commissioned to supply and install 71 of its SWT-7.0-154 turbines. The 7MW turbines will be manufactured at Siemens’ new nacelle plant in Port of Cuxhaven beginning in mid-2018 and will be shipped to the project harbour in early 2019. The blades will be shipped from factories in Hull, UK, and from the Port of Aalborg, Denmark. After the project's commissioning Siemens will perform service and maintenance of the turbines for a period of five years.

Siemens was also selected to provided foundations for the German site. For this it partnered DEME Group subsidiary, GeoSea, who is responsible for the delivery and installation of the project's 71 monopile foundations, each measuring 80m in length and weighing up to 1,500 tons, and transition pieces.

VBMS GmbH secured an €80m inter-array cabling contract which sees it responsible for the supply, installation and burial as well as termination and testing of seventy nine (79) 33kV inter-array cables. The project execution will commence in 2017 with cable installation activities scheduled for 2018 and 2019.

A consortium consisting of ENGIE Fabricom, Iemants NV and CG Holdings Belgium NV is responsible for the offshore substation.

Further to the Hohe See project Enbridge also has an option to participate in another EnBW project in the North Sea, the Albatros offshore wind farm. EnBW stated that it plans to make the decision on whether to construct the project in early 2017, which could be realised together with Hohe See and thus offer synergies during the erection and operational phases. Albatros currently has a binding approval for grid connections of 116MW. This means the  project could be developed across multiple phases with initial roll-out of 116MWW and moving towards around 610MW by 2019.

As stated earlier Enbridge Inc. foray into European wind farms has not been without it problems. Last year it acquired a 50% interest in Éolien Maritime France SAS (EMF), a French offshore wind development company, for an investment of EUR 191m (GBP 151m). EMF is co-owned with EDF Energies Nouvelles. EMF is developing three large-scale offshore wind farms off the coast of France that would produce a combined 1,428 megawatts (MW) of power. The French projects are  

However the 498MW Eoliennes Offshore des Hautes Falaises offshore wind farm is facing stiff opposition from a consortium of seven organisations trying to stop the project going ahead in what they describe as "against the absurdity of this mammoth project of 83 giant wind turbines".  One of the other French investments has also suffered from severe opposition. Three environmental groups, Prosimar, GRSB and Aspen, filed an appeal last year against the proposed Pac du Banc de Guerande offshore wind farm located off the seaside town of Saint Nazaire, France.

Enbridge is also one of three shareholders in Rampion Offshore Wind Limited owning a 24.9 percent interest.

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