EnBW places 500MW project on hold

Uncertainty surrounding offshore wind blamed for halt

Major German energy company EnBW has decided to postpone an investment decision on its 500MW Hohe See project due to concerns about grid connection and regulatory uncertainty.

"We need legal clarity and reliable framework conditions before we take a decision on an investment amounting to significantly more than €1.5bn," the company said on Wednesday. EnBW raised €822m in July, claiming this would be used for offshore wind power and other renewables.

A binding date for network connection of the Hohe See wind farm is also a prerequisite to the company investing in it, Hans-Josef Zimmer, technical director on EnBW's management board, said.

The project is to be placed on hold until the legal framework for offshore wind  farms  is clear and their economic viability becomes apparent, the company said. "Current tendering procedures will not be pursued further for the time being," EnBW said.

EnBW recently postponed another investment decision due to TenneT's inability to state a firm grid connection date, it said. This means EnBW will have no protected claim for a network connection under the rules currently being discussed for a revision of the energy act, the company pointed out.

"This is an extremely regrettable fact that we have to take account of," said Stefan Thiele, management spokesman for EnBW's renewables division.

The relevant authorities, market partners and Tennet have been informed of the decision, the company said.

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