German Rail (Deutsche Bahn – DB) has closed Germany’s first power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy electricity from an offshore wind farm.

DB has signed a five-year deal starting in 2024 to buy the output of 25MW, or 8%, of the 295MW Nordsee Ost wind farm in the North Sea from utility Innogy and RWE Supply & Trading.

The former state rail monopoly company already covers more than 57% of its energy from renewables – making it Germany’s largest green power consumer - a share it plans to raise to 100% by 2038.

"Over the next few years, we will consistently replace expiring contracts based on fossil-fuel generation with renewable energy,” DB Energie chief executive Torsten Schein said.

“Before the end of September, we will start a further Europe-wide invitation to tender for the long-term purchase of green electricity."

Under the PPA, the power is produced at the offshore wind farm for a fixed price and then used directly by Deutsche Bahn. RWE Supply & Trading acts as the contract and retail partner.

"This is a win-win deal for all parties involved,” Innogy chief operating officer Hans Bünting said.

“From 2024, Deutsche Bahn will run climate-friendly trains with green electricity from our Nordsee Ost offshore wind farm. After the reduction of state subsidies, we are pleased to have agreed commercial terms for the supply of electricity from the first turbines at our wind farm and created scope for further investment in this way."

Innogy’s renewable energy generation assets are slated to be re-incorporated into those of parent RWE under a wide-ranging share and asset swap deal between RWE and rival E.ON that is only waiting for a final green light by EU competition authorities, which the companies expect to receive this month.