Complexities mire Germany's MEG 1

A North Sea supergrid is seen as the spearhead of a pan-European network that would underpin greater co-operation to integrate renewables

MEG 1's guarantee of a grid link makes it attractive

The 400MW MEG 1 offshore wind project in the German North Sea planned by now-insolvent wind developer Windreich remains up for grabs – with investors interested but facing a complex scenario, Recharge understands.

The project is coveted by investors, who are preparing to return to German offshore wind once a reform of the country's Renewable Energies Act (EEG) is passed, bringing clarity over support to the sector.

MEG 1 is especially interesting for investors or operators, as it has a guarantee from transmission system operator TenneT to be connected to the DolWin 1 offshore grid link, which is about to be completed.

Along with finance, grid links are the major bottleneck in the German offshore wind sector.

But in practice, MEG 1 comes with some baggage.

Former Windreich boss Willy Balz late last year told Recharge that a financial close of the project was imminent – but the company instead became insolvent soon afterwards.

MEG 1 is the key asset in the insolvency process of Windreich, and its sale would increase the chances of creditors of €125m ($170m) in Windreich bonds getting at least some of their investments back.

A German newspaper earlier this month had reported that a sale of the project was imminent.

But that was denied by the insolvency administrator in the case, according to a statement from law firm GRP Rainer Rechstanwälte, which advised creditors.

Windreich in 2011 signed a deal worth €850m ($1.16bn) with Areva for the French company to supply 80 of its 5MW M5000 offshore turbines for the wind park.

One interested investor, with enough funds to secure a financial close for the project, told Recharge that it doesn't want to buy the wind farm in development, as it prefers to use other suppliers and it would be very difficult to get out of the contract.

Officials at the local court in the southern German city of Esslingen responsible for the Windreich insolvency case couldn't immediately be reached when contacted by Recharge early Thursday.

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