The Bundesnetzagentur has launched further auctions for offshore wind farms comprising a total of 5,500 MW at three centrally pre-investigated sites in the North Sea.

Auctions of centrally pre-investigated sites

The three sites with a combined 5,500 MW of projected generating capacity are situated about 110 km north-west of the island of Borkum, bordering the Netherlands exclusive economic zone.

The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency has conducted a preliminary investigation of the sites on behalf of the Bundesnetzagentur, covering key information such as the marine environment, the building ground and the wind and oceanographic conditions. This information will be provided to all interested parties in the course of the auction. Successful bidders will not have to carry out these investigations subsequently themselves as they do for the sites that have not been centrally pre-investigated.

Award including qualitative criteria

The award will be made using a points system set out in law, as was done for the first time last year. Up to 60 points will be awarded for the bid value, which reflects the amount the bidder is willing to pay. Then qualitative criteria will also be applied. These assess the proportion of electricity from renewable sources used in the manufacture of the wind turbines, the share of trainees, the use of particularly environmentally friendly foundation methods and the scope of long-term electricity supplies to third parties. A total of up to 35 points will be awarded for the qualitative criteria. 90% of the payments by the successful bidder will go towards bringing down electricity costs. The last auctions of centrally pre-investigated sites in 2023 were for a combined 1,800 MW and resulted in total proceeds of €784mn.

Bids by 1 August 2024

Bids must be submitted by 1 August 2024. The bidders will be informed of the decision and the auction results will be published once the bids have been assessed and the award procedure completed. The successful bidders will receive the right to apply for planning approval from the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency to construct an offshore wind farm on the site. In addition, they will be entitled to have the planned wind farm connected to the electricity grid to transport the power generated offshore.

As well as the auctions announced, the Bundesnetzagentur also put 2.5 GW of sites that have not been centrally pre-investigated up for auction on 29 January.

Source: BNetzA