Offshore wind projects in German and Portuguese waters are likely to receive EU funding, with two other projects included on a reserve list.
RWE’s Nordsee 1 and the Windfloat trial are the two offshore wind projects shortlisted for funding via the NER300 scheme. NER300 was created to use money generated by the EU carbon emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) to fund innovative low-carbon energy generation.
Twenty-two projects have been given ‘top ranking’ for NER300 funding, although the European Commission acknowledges that the maximum number expected to receive funding will be lower, no more than 19. A final decision on which projects will win funds will be made by the end of the year.
Nordsee 1 & Windfloat
The NER300 shortlist includes an unnamed offshore wind station in the German North Sea owned by RWE Innogy. Based on the project description it would appear to be phase 1 of Nordsee 1, a 332MW offshore wind station, which was granted a construction permit in April 2012.
The second shortlisted offshore wind project is an expansion of an existing floating trail underway off the Portuguese coast. Windfloat currently consists of just one floating platform mounted with a 2MW Vestas turbine. The expansion plans would see construction of a five-turbine floating offshore wind farm with a 27MW capacity. As Windpower Offshore reported recently, Repsol has bought into Windfloat, joining Energias de Portugal (EDP), which also backs the project.
Two offshore wind reserve projects have been identified, and may be allocated funding if either of the ‘top ranked’ offshore wind projects fail to proceed through the final stages of the NER300 selection process.
These are Bard's 208MW Veja Mate I project, planned for a location about 90km from shore in German waters, and the 26MW VertiMED floating trial, which would test innovative vertical axis turbines as well as floating platforms off the French Mediterranean coast. Whether Veja Mate would be in a realistic position to win EU funds given the financial uncertainty facing owner/developer, Bard, is not clear.