RWE and Northland Plan Additional 1.3 GW of Offshore Power in Germany

German offshore wind farm development
New projects will be near the existing Nordsee One wind farm (RWE)

Published Jan 7, 2022 5:47 PM by The Maritime Executive

German energy company RWE and Canadian headquartered Northland Power are forming a joint venture to develop a new cluster of offshore wind power projects and strengthen their position to participate in the next round of auctions which Germany is expected to conduct in 2023. It is part of the renewed effort by the new German government to accelerate the development of renewable energy.

“Germany has set itself ambitious climate targets, thereby establishing a significant growth potential for renewable energies. Offshore wind power plays a central role in this, and is indispensable for supporting the decarbonization of industry in particular,” said Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Wind Offshore for RWE Renewables. “RWE is making its contribution to this and is significantly stepping up the pace here. This includes the collaborative delivery of the 1.3 GW offshore cluster with Northland Power, through which we can achieve considerable synergies to deploy at our new wind farms, while at the same time actively supporting the energy transition in our home market Germany.”

The new offshore wind cluster that will be formed by the partnership includes a total of three offshore wind leases, which are located north of the island of Juist. One offshore site (N-3.8) with a capacity of 433 megawatts and was already secured by the partners in the latest German offshore wind auction. The other two leases will add 900 MW of capacity and are expected to be auctioned in 2023. For both sites, the new joint venture holds step-in rights.

To form the new North Sea Cluster, Northland Power joins RWE in the development of the offshore site N-3.6 (previously known as Delta Nordsee 1&2), which has a planned capacity of 480 MW. At the same time, RWE takes a larger 51 percent stake in the 433 MW site N-3.8 (previously known as Nordsee 2) and the 420 MW offshore lease N-3.5 (previously known as Nordsee 3). The cluster will be near the existing 332 MW Nordsee One wind farm in which Northland and RWE are already partners. Combined, the three leases have the potential for Germany to add 1.3 GW of additional offshore wind capacity.

RWE is already one of the leading renewable energy companies and number two worldwide in offshore wind. By 2030, RWE intends to triple its global offshore wind capacity from currently 2.4 GW to 8 GW. Off the German coast, RWE already operates five offshore wind farms, with a further project – the 342 MW Kaskasi offshore wind farm – currently under construction. In addition, RWE is currently developing another offshore wind farm (N-3.7) with a planned capacity of 225 MW in the German North Sea. This lease was awarded to RWE in last year’s German offshore wind auction.

Northland Power currently has three offshore wind farms operating in the North Sea, generating 3,800 GWh. In addition, Northland Power has significant development opportunities across multiple markets and technologies with 4-5 GW of identified development projects, primarily focused on offshore wind development in Europe and Asia.

Germany’s new Social Democratic Party coalition government says it wants to achieve 40 GW from offshore sources by 2035 and 70 GW by 2045. At the end of 2021, they took the first steps toward opening up additional areas for future renewable energy development to meet the ambitious goals for growth in the sector. Currently, Germany is third in the world with 7.8 GW of operational offshore wind generation capacity.