Details of Denmark's tendering plans for 1.45GW in additional offshore wind capacity were disclosed on Tuesday in Vienna, during the annual conference of the European Wind Energy Association.
The Danish Energy Agency’s (DEA) primary goal is to ensure that the whole 1.45GW will be online by 2020, helping the country achieve its goal to satisfy half of its electricity demand from wind farms by that same date.
Bids for up to six near-shore projects with combined capacity of 450MW will have to be submitted by the autumn of 2015, with concessions awarded by year-end. The DEA hopes to publish tender documents for these projects in September. A further 50MW is also planned for research and development purposes.
Of the two large-scale offshore projects in the pipeline, 400MW Horns Rev 3 will also go out for tender later this year. A concession award and construction permit for Horns Rev 3 are scheduled for early 2015. The right to build the larger 600MW Kriegers Flak should be awarded later that year.
The sites for Horns Rev 3 and Kriegers Flak both offer favourable physical conditions, such as relatively low water depths of 10-30m and average wind speeds in excess of 9.5m/s. They were also chosen with other parameters in mind, including public acceptance, supply chain and logistics capabilities.
Danish transmission system operator, Energinet, has launched site investigations for the two large sites, the results of which will be disclosed before final bids are submitted. It is hoped that the provision of detailed geophysical and geotechnical information will make the tenders more attractive to developers by removing some project risk.
A tender for preliminary geotechnical surveying is out at the moment, explained Betina Heron of Energinet. Surveying is due to start in April and end by September, with results ready before the end of the year.
"Our experience with Anholt tells us that prospective bidders would have liked more information ahead of time. So we're doing more this time," she added. The tender for the 400MW Anholt project attracted just one bid from Denmark’s state-owned energy company, Dong Energy.
For Horns Rev 3, Energinet has mapped out a 190km² pre-investigation area. A 400MW project normally requires 70-80km², explained Heron, but a larger area was identified in order to give developers more flexibility. The same principle applies to Kriegers Flak, for which a 250km² pre-investigation area has been set.
Both projects will enjoy a grid connection guarantee, with Horns Rev 3’s connection promised by 1 January 2016 and Kriegers Flak by 1 July 2017. If these deadlines are not met, Energinet will compensate the developers.
Conversely, while developers will not bear the cost of power transmission to shore - including cabling and transformer stations - they will have to reimburse Energinet for the cost of survey and EIA investigations that are directly relevant to their project, DEA senior adviser Lisbeth Nielsen told Windpower Offshore.
The tenders will not come with any local content requirements. For the near-shore projects, however, developers must make at least 20% of project equity available to local residents or businesses. If at least 30% of the ownership resides with local entities, the developer in question will receive a premium of DKK0.13/MWh (€0.02) for the electricity it generates, said Nielsen.