The full extent of the failure by North Sea transmission system operator (TSO), TenneT, to honour its commitments to German offshore wind developers has been the central topic of discussion at offshore wind event, Windforce 2012, in Bremen.
Under rules developed by the German Federal Grid Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), TenneT is required to ensure installation of export cables and connection to the electricity network once an offshore wind station developer has fulfilled a series of obligations, including the signing of all major supply contracts for project construction.
However, TenneT has now admitted that it does not have the financial resources to connect several offshore wind stations currently under construction in German waters as quickly as it should. Delays of close to two years are now expected for projects due to be served by the Helwin 1 cable, with RWE's Nordsee Ost project the most high-profile victim (Windpower Offshore 26-Jun-12).
Offshore developers expect the German federal government to broker some type of financial compensation package for those facing losses, which could run into the hundreds of millions of euros.
In addition, new rules governing how – and when – new offshore wind stations in German waters are guaranteed a prompt connection to the grid will be published in August.