EU exempts Kriegers Flak CGS from electricity market rule

The Kriegers Flak Combined Grid Solution (CGS) project, in which Denmark and Germany connect three offshore wind farms with a new electricity connection between the two countries, has been exempted from the EU rule that at least 70 percent of the capacity of an interconnector must be offered to the electricity market. The exception for the CGS is valid for 10 years with the possibility of a 15-year extension.

The CGS is a technological innovation that connects the grid connections of offshore wind farms to for a bridge between Germany and Denmark. This includes the grid connections of the
Baltic 1 and Baltic 2 wind farms (Germany), which are operated by 50Hertz, as well as the grid connection to Kriegers Flak wind farm (Denmark), that is currently under construction. Two submarine cables 25 km length with a capacity of 200 MW each have been laid between the offshore substations of Baltic 2 and Kriegers Flak, linking both grid connection systems together.

But the 70 percent rule is impossible for the CGS solution to comply with in its current form. When it blows, power from the wind turbines from the three parks ashore is sent to consumers in either one or both countries, but when it does not blow - or when the turbine power only fills parts of the cables - the excess capacity of the cables is offered to the electricity market. can flow between the two countries.

The 70% rule was introduced by the ministers of the 27 EU countries as well as a majority in the European Parliament in 2020 - long after the CGS solution was conceived, approved and launched. It happened as an EU reaction against trade barriers, border barriers to the free electricity market and attempts at protectionism in the European electricity grid.

The EU competition authority has exempted Danish Energinet's and German 50 Hertz' project Kriegers Flak Combined Grid Solution from general EU rules that at least 70 percent of the capacity in all international connections must be made available to the electricity market, and that the induction of renewable energy must not be a priority.

"It is very positive that the EU has understood that Krieger's Flak Combined Grid Solution is a unique project that works on completely different terms than traditional international connections. We are pleased to have a 10-year exemption with the opportunity to apply for an additional 15-year exemption,"
Søren Dupont Kristensen, CEO of Energinet Elsystemansvar.

"A rule that 70 percent of the capacity of an electricity connection must always be available for the electricity market, breaks with the design of the groundbreaking CGS idea, which combines offshore wind farms with a foreign connection to create an efficient and cheaper green conversion,"
he says.

"The whole idea of ​​the CGS solution is to use the expensive cables for more than one thing and ensure that they are constantly charged. It creates an effective green transition, where society gets the most for its money. I fully agree that we must eradicate trade barriers and border barriers and that the greatest possible capacity must be made available to the electricity market. This ensures that manufacturers have a large market to sell to and that consumers get the cheapest prices. Therefore, it is very gratifying that a project that has been underway for more than a decade, and which has had its market design approved by the regulator, can be exempted from new legislation,"
said Søren Dupont Kristensen and also points out that the CGS project is supported by The EU, precisely because of its pioneering nature and the fact that the CGS solution has been continuously discussed with the EU.

CEO of German 50 Hertz, Stefan Kapfere, stated that the exception is a strong signal from the EU for innovative projects:"The EU Commission decision shows that projects like KF CGS - which have been planned for more than 10 years and are inaugurated - are possible, even though the legislation has changed along the way as a result of the Clean Energy Package with the 70 percent rule. This means that the green electricity production from the Kriegers Flak and Baltic 1 and Baltic 2 offshore wind farms can be fully utilized, because only the excess capacity must be made available to the electricity market. It is important that the EU now makes a forward-looking and stable set of rules for hybrid interconnector projects, because KF CGS was probably the world's first of its kind, but certainly will not be the last," he said.

For more information on offshore wind farms and interconnector projects,
click here. Alternatively, you can view offshore wind farm and interconnector projects and their associated infrastructure worldwide using 4C Offshore's Interactive Map.

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