EnBW warns on further offshore investment

GERMANY: Expansion of 1.2GW of offshore wind projects in the North Sea, beyond the Baltic 2 project already under way, depends on the result of the current revision of the Renewable Energy Act, according to EnBW CEO Frank Mastiaux.

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The German utility also warned of offshore write-offs, running to a two-digit million euro sum, in its annual report. It blamed this on the uncertain framework conditions.

EnBW's most advanced projects are EnBW Hohe See and EnBW He Dreiht, both in the North Sea and with construction permits conditional on construction begining by 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2017, respectively.

The company also reported that output from its 48.3MW Baltic 1 project was down 6.4% (13GWh) to 191GWh in 2013, compared with 204GWh in 2012.

EnBW's figures came out in its annual results for 2013. The company said its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to EUR 2.22 billion ($3.07 billion).

The Baltic 1 figures corresponded to 3,954 full load hours per year, compared with 4,224 full load hours per year in 2012, a fall of around 6%.

EnBW also said it plans to bring its Baltic 2 wind farm online this year. Monopiles were installed on the project in December.

Baltic 1 is not the only offshore project to produce a fall in output. The 60MW Alpha Ventus wind farm in the North Sea also saw output fall in 2013, to 224.6GWh, which is equivalent to 3,743 full load hours,  down from 268GWh in 2012, or 4,466 full load hours, the operator company reported last month.

Technical downtimes of individual wind turbines were not fully compensated by the particularly windy months of October and December 2013, the project's owners (EWE, E.on and Vattenfall) explained.

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