RWE now owns 100% of the four wind farms that make up the Nordseecluster project, located off the coast of Juist island in the German North Sea, after purchasing Canadian energy company Northland Power’s 49% stake in the wind farms.
RWE and Northland were previously developing the projects together, which include the 435MW N-3.8 (Nordseecluster Phase A) , the 225MW N-3.7 (Nordseecluster Phase A) , the 480MW N-3.6 (Nordseecluster Phase B) , and the 420MW N-3.5 (Nordseecluster Phase B) projects.
RWE and Northland previously bid unsuccessfully for the N-3.8 wind farm but took over the project anyway after exercising their so-called “step-in” rights.
Under Germany's "step-in rule", developers that were already working on offshore wind farms at sites prior to the switch to a centralised tender system can choose to acquire the rights on the same terms that another developer secured for the site at auction.
Northland and RWE won the rights to the N-3.7 project at auction in 2021.
RWE has also submitted bids for the N-3.6 and N-3.5 projects that are being auctioned this year. It added that it will similarly exercise step-in rights if it is unsuccessful in bidding for either project.
“Becoming the sole owner of the Nordseecluster aligns with our ambition to further grow our position as a global leader in offshore wind. As it will be Germany’s first gigawatt-scale offshore wind cluster, it will provide us with significant size and scale,” said Sven Utermöhlen, CEO of RWE Offshore Wind.
RWE is awaiting permitting approval for N-3.8 and N-3.7, and aims to start construction work in 2025, before project commissioning in 2027.
It expects the N-3.6 and N-3.5 projects – or Nordseecluster B – to be online in 2029.
Danish manufacturer Vestas has been selected as the preferred turbine supplier for all four sites.