Germany schedules new offshore wind areas

In: Windfarms
Following the confirmation of new offshore wind targets for Germany, the government presents its first planning documents which identify the locations and the tender schedule for new offshore wind farms in the North and Baltic Seas.

The Federal Cabinet confirmed a long awaited increase in offshore wind targets by approving amendments to the Wind Energy at Sea Act (WindSeeG) on the 3rd June. Targets have been raised from 15 GW to 20 GW by 2030 and 40 GW by 2040.

On 19th June the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency ( BSH ) published the first update to its Area Development Plan (FEP) which provides the framework for the spatial and temporal development of offshore wind farms in the North and Baltic Seas. It also defines how and when these areas should be connected to the onshore power grid.

The draft FEP includes plans for tenders for to be launched from 2021-2025 with commissioning from 2026-2030. Planned areas include N-3, N-6, N-7, N-9 and N-10, in the North Sea and O-1.3 in the Baltic Sea with a total targeted capacity of 9.688 GW.

The FEP specifies standardised technology and planning principles for the associated connection systems. This includes the use of 66 kV direct connection between the turbine array and the converter platform which eliminates the need for a substation and intermediate 155 kV HVAC cables. From 2029 a new connection concept will also be used which includes 525 kV HVDC cables and transmission capacity of 2 GW per cable system. This will be more space efficient and reduce environmental impacts.

The FEP also incorporates plans for post-2030 with areas in N-11, N-12 and N-13 totalling ~10 GW to be tendered after 2025 and commissioned by 2035. O-6 could provide additional capacity.

For the first time, the BSH is also providing so-called other energy production areas for consultation in the preliminary draft submitted. In these areas, innovative forms of energy generation, for example for hydrogen production without connection to the public power grid, are to be tested.

With the publication of the preliminary draft, the BSH is already fulfilling the agreement reached by the federal government, coastal states and transmission system operators in May in order to achieve the 2030 expansion goal in good time.

A consultation on the draft documents will now be held until 20th July and a final version of the FEP is expected to be ready by the end of the year.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.

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