A preliminary decision in favour of progressing construction of the 320MW Nördlicher Grund offshore wind farm has been made by project owner, Blackstone. But the project’s future is now far from certain, Windpower Offshore understands.
It is being held up due to a continued lack of clarity over the timing of the SylWin 2 export cable and convertor station installation. In addition, the business case for the project has become less certain, thanks to a recent outbreak of political wrangling over the "the basic economic conditions" for German offshore wind development, a spokesperson for Blackstone’s offshore wind development company, Wind MW, acknowledged.
As late as last summer, Wind MW was saying that it planned to begin construction of Nördlicher Grund this year. Installation of its 288MW Meerwind Süd/Ost project is progressing well, with full commissioning due this autumn.
Completion of Germany’s offshore network development plan by the end of this year should clarify the timing of Nördlicher Grund's grid connection. If SylWin 2 is not prioritised for early construction, there is a risk that the project will be delayed by up to a decade.
Meanwhile, uncertainty regarding the level of financial support for German offshore wind farms will also need to be overcome, before a final decision is made.