RWE and Iberdrola snatch German offshore wind projects away from zero-subsidy winners

More than 700MW of offshore wind capacity changes hands as deadline on German legacy rights loomed

Iberdrola will develop the 300MW Windanker offshore wind farm in the German Baltic Sea

EDF Offshore Nordsee has lost the chance to develop a 433MW project in the German North Sea. 

Instead, RWE and Northland Power have exercised their Nordsee Two GmbH joint-venture step-in rights to develop it on a zero-subsidy basis. 

The news comes after RWE lost the chance to develop a 300MW project in Baltic Sea, with Windanker GmbH, a subsidiary of Spain's Iberdrola, exercising its step-in rights to that project. 

Germany's Federal Network Agency, Bundesnetzagentur, announced RWE and EDF Offshore Nordsee as the zero-subsidy auction winners for the sites in September. However, companies with legacy rights had until 2 November to make final investment decisions.

RWE had won uncontested rights to develop 225MW at the N-3.7 site in North Sea without subsidy, adding to the five German offshore wind farms it already operates and the under construction 342MW Kaskasi.

An RWE spokeswoman said: “Together with our Canadian partner Northland Power, we have secured the offshore wind lease N-3.8 (previously known as Nordsee 2) in the German North Sea by executing our step-in-rights. During delivery, we will use experiences gained from our joint Nordsee One offshore wind farm (342 MW), which has been in operation since 2017 and is located in the same area, approximately 40 km north of the island of Juist.”

Iberdrola's decision to proceed with the €800 million 300MW Windanker project means its Baltic Hub investment in Germany rises to €3.5 billion, with over 1.1GW in total offshore capacity. Its 350MW Wikinger project is operational and the 476MW Baltic Eagle project is under construction.

Iberdrola said proceeding on a zero-subsidy basis will be challenging, but possible. 

Iris Stempfle, managing director of Iberdrola Renovables Germany, said: "Thanks to the experience already gained in the Baltic Sea and by using latest wind technology, such as multi-MW turbines (15MW class), Iberdrola will operate the Windanker wind farm highly efficiently."