Round 2 of NER300 begins

Not yet clear if first winners will secure funding

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Innovative offshore wind projects have a new chance to win funds from the European Union’s NER300 programme, after a second call for proposals was issued last week.

Applications must be submitted by 3 July. Support will be awarded out of funds reaped from the sale of 100m CO2 emissions allowances as well as €288m left over from the first NER funding round. With EU CO2 emissions allowances currently priced at about €4/t, the funding available for this round will be meagre compared to the first round, for which 200m allowances were sold at an average price of €8.05/t.

NER300 first round winners were finalised last December 2012, with 23 renewable energy projects earmarked to receive a combined total of €1.2bn. Two offshore wind projects were given top ranking for funding, with two additional projects selected as ‘reserves’.

The top-ranked projects were RWE Innogy’s 332MW Nordsee 1 project and the Windfloat trial off the Portuguese coast. The two reserve offshore wind projects were the 208MW Veja Mate wind farm, from financially-troubled developer Bard Group, and the 26MW VertiMED floating pilot.

Projects selected under NER 1 must have financing in place by December 2014 and enter into operation by December 2016 or forfeit the funding. It is not clear whether Innogy Nordsee 1 will meet the deadline, given delays in the construction of Germany’s offshore electricity network and a high debtload prompting RWE to slow down its offshore wind programme.

The European Investment Bank evaluates NER300 proposals, sells CO2 allowances, and disburses the funds during project implementation.

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