Tennet German grid pipeline 6.2GW

Transmission system operator TenneT TSO says it now has a pipeline of already existing or yet-to-be-built offshore grid connections in Germany of 6.2GW, with a further 1.2GW being tendered.

The Dutch company last year has spent €1.33bn ($1.85bn) in 2013 on the German offshore grid, down from €1.55bn in 2012.

The company also spend €174m on onshore transmission projects in Germany last year, including for the start of the 800-kilometre SuedLink HVDC transmission line that is slated to bring wind energy from Germany’s Northern coastal regions to its power thirsty industrial centres to the South.

The TSO plans to invest some €16bn in the coming ten years, €11bn of which in Germany, and €7.5bn of that in offshore.

“Through having been able to win €1bn in equity capital finance for our German offshore projects, TenneT disposes of a solid financial basis for its on- and offshore portfolio in Germany,” says TenneT chief financial officer Otto Jager.

Financial bottlenecks at Tennet were widely blamed for a delay in the construction of German offshore grid links that until early last year had slowed down the development of the entire offshore wind industry in the country.

But the company’s financial situation improved when Mitsubishi Corporation early last year contributed €336m for the construction of two German offshore grid connections, shortly after Germany’s government had legislated a provision capping the liability on TSOs in the event of delayed or damaged offshore grid links.

That was followed later in the year by a €500m credit line by the European Investment Bank, a €500m bond placement in October, and the pledge by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners in February 2014 to spend €384m in the DolWin3 offshore grid link in the North Sea.

TenneT made its statement as it announced a jump in net profit to €357m last year from €180m a year earlier that was helped by an increase in the payment of a surcharge to finance renewables in Germany to grid clients, the company said.