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Windreich Welcomes Regulation of Liability Regarding Power Network Connection of Offshore Wind Farms

published: 2012-09-03 14:42

The company Windreich AG, a leading wind power company in Germany and a pioneer in the offshore sector has welcomed cabinet decision by the federal government to reform the liability for delayed or impaired power network connections at offshore wind farms. According to the plans of the federal government, subsequent to the cabinet decision on 29.08.2012, the law will be passed by the federal parliament within two months before taking effect on 01.01.2013. The new liability regulations apply to the delayed establishment of the power network connection or a fault in a previously installed power supply line in offshore wind farms that are ready for operation. The claims for compensation arising in these two cases are clearly laid out in the new legislation and ensure a maximum degree of transparency and security both for the project managers and for investors in offshore wind parks.

"The new liability regulations are an important signal that the federal government is fully behind the development of offshore wind energy. Our three current projects in the North Sea are proceeding according to plan because we addressed the power network connection question at an early stage. The new law provides for complete trust in the capital market - which is why we are welcoming this step. The arrangements surrounding the deadline are fair, according to which power network connections approved before 1 August receive full compensation, as they take the prior commercial engagements of the pioneers and innovators into account correctly" explains Dipl. Econ. Eng. (FH) Willi Balz, Chairman of Windreich AG. The first three offshore wind farms of Windreich AG to be approved, 'Global Tech I', MEG I' and 'Deutsche Bucht' received the conditional and unconditional power network approval by the Federal Grid Agency long before the deadline of 1 August 2012.

The company Windreich AG has initiated abuse proceedings against network operators TenneT through the Federal Grid Agency. This is not a compensation process but an administrative process concerning the obligation to provide a timely power network connection. "We want to provide a timely power network connection. We do not aim to earn money with compensation or guaranteed amounts, but with wind power that is affordable and CO2 free. With this step we want to clearly define our legal position. But above all we want to bring new momentum into the stalled talks with TenneT about the fastest and most affordable power network connection of our 'Deutsche Bucht' wind farm for all participants to the Bard connection which offers 800 MW but only uses 100 MW. With the sum of approx. 10 million Euros a 300 million Euro problem would be solved for all parties" explains Willi Balz. The petition will be negotiated by the Federal Grid Agency on 12 September.

In August this year the construction of the 'Global Tech I' started on time, with its full completion guaranteed by the end of 2013 according to the plans. The Global Tech I will then supply 1 million people with affordable and safely generated electricity. With the 'MEG I' and 'Deutsche Bucht' wind farms, two Windreich projects that have been approved and granted power network connection are running on schedule for the years 2014/2015 with all the necessary contracts and initial work necessary for their punctual realisation. A particular innovation in this context is the uniquely favourable power network situation with 'MEG I', where a forerunner project will ensure the fully functional power network connection by network operator TenneT is ready for operation six months prior to the start of the construction work.

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