Danes pledge level wind tender

Denmark’s energy minister has pledged to ensure a level playing field in its forthcoming offshore wind tender, as the country tries to attract as many bidders as possible.

The tender has already attracted significant interest from potential developers – including foreign heavyweights E.ON and Vattenfall, Recharge has learned.

Up to 10 companies have made early-stage enquiries, confirms Peter Sehestedt, a special consultant at the Danish Energy Agency.

The 1.5GW tender includes the 400MW Horns Rev 3 and 600MW Kriegers Flak developments.

Among the interested parties are Sweden’s Vattenfall and Germany’s E.ON, both current offshore operators in Denmark, and the country’s domestic offshore wind giant Dong Energy.

E.ON is looking “very closely” at both offshore projects, chief operating officer Michael Lewis told Recharge.

“The timetable for both is different, but we will make a decision in due course,” said Lewis.

But before making a final decision on whether to bid, E.ON raised concerns that the Danish government ensures that all potential bidders get access to the same data regarding the project sites.

“If the process is to work as a competitive process then it is absolutely critical that we get exactly the same data that everyone else gets, and that no competitor is in a better position than anyone else or has privileged information. That’s a key point for us,” says Lewis, citing Horns Rev.

The already-operating Horns Rev 1 and 2 are operated by Vattenfall and Dong, which could well both end up involved in the new tender.

Georg Friedrichs, who is head of Offshore Wind Projects at Vattenfall, recently said the company is “looking very closely” at the Danish tender.

It would be almost unthinkable for Dong not to take part. “Our main focus areas are Denmark, the UK and Germany. That is where we have our pipeline and we will definitely be interested in the upcoming Danish tender,” senior vice president Bent Christensen said.

Danish minister for climate and energy, Martin Lidegaard pledged that all potential bidders will have the same level of information.

“It’s part of the game rules. The people who have by far the most interest in this are us, because it will ensure equal conditions, equal competition and hopefully the lowest prices,” Lidegaard told Recharge.

The minister points out that the Energy Agency is in close dialogue with all companies that are interested in participating in the tender, and that all such concerns will be looked into.

“We are listening very closely to everybody because we want to have as many on board as possible,” says Lidegaard.