Overlapping projects create Baltic Sea headaches

Regulators estimate export cable transmission capacities

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Competing project applications on overlapping sites in the German Baltic Sea have created headaches for the regulator. The Bundesamt fur Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH) was tasked with drawing up the region's first offshore transmission network plan.

Three project clusters have been outlined in the first draft of the Bundesfachplan Offshore 2013 for the Baltic Sea. But identifying each cluster's capacity "cannot…be done on the basis of applications to the BSH", states the draft document.

Each cluster currently features proposed projects whose sites overlap each other, notes the plan. Given that competing projects have yet to be awarded development rights, it is not possible to calculate total cluster capacity.

BSH has instead used the average area per turbine quoted in Baltic Sea applications and compared this with North Sea permitted projects, in order to arrive at a theoretical 'turbines per cluster' number. This is then multiplied by an assumed capacity per turbine of 7MW.  

The formula has resulted in average density of two turbines per km² and a total capacity in the German Baltic Sea of just under 3.7GW.

Cluster 1 is located within offshore wind priority area Westlich Adlergrund and so far features two permitted projects; E.ON’s 480MW Arkona Becken Südost and Iberdrola’s 400MW Wikinger. BSH has estimated an eventual total cluster capacity of 1.7GW.

By contract, Cluster 2 is not in a priority zone for offshore wind, but several applications have been submitted. BSH has allocated it a cluster capacity of 1.3GW.

A third and final cluster, Kriegers Flak, has been awarded development priority. BSH has earmarked a total capacity of 722MW. One project is already well-progressed, EnBW’s Baltic 2, while there are two competing applications in the southern part of the zone.

Germany’s recently-published offshore network development plan makes it clear that clusters in priority areas should be awarded earlier transmission links to shore.

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