Offshore and onshore wind developers in Germany have a new option when it comes to connecting their wind plant to the high voltage grid. Last month, Germany's largest energy company, E.ON, officially founded an independent company named Transpower Stromübertragung for its high voltage network operations, previously run by E.ON Netz, which continues to run lower voltage transmission services. The new company is part of E.ON's preparations to sell its high voltage network assets along with 4.8 GW of power station capacity. It pledged to make these divestments in early 2008 in return for the European Commission dropping its anti-trust cases against the company. Transpower has around 560 staff and operates about 10,700 kilometres of network in a north-south corridor down the centre of Germany. The network already takes around 9 GW of power from wind stations as well as about 4 GW from other renewable energy facilities with rated capacities of more than 1.3 GW. Transpower is legally obliged to build cable connections to shore for nearly 50 offshore wind power projects planned for commissioning in the North Sea over the coming years. The first cable link is for the 60 MW Alpha Ventus demonstration offshore station, construction of which starts later this year. A 125 kilometre DC sea cable is also to be ready in the autumn for the 400 MW Bard Offshore 1 station in the German North Sea.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol