RWE, Commerzbank to offer offshore wind to mid-sized cos in Germany

Image by RWE AG.

June 20 (Renewables Now) - German energy major ​​RWE AG (ETR:RWE) plans to build a new gigawatt-scale offshore wind park to supply electricity to medium-sized industrial companies at home in partnership with Commerzbank AG (ETR:CBK).

The two parties have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that outlines the creation of a so-called Green Mittelstand Fund, RWE said in a statement on Monday.

The particular fund will provide mid-sized enterprises with the chance to make equity investments in the new offshore wind project or sign long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs), starting with a tranche corresponding to a capacity of 5 MW. Interested customers will also be able to combine the two options.

RWE will develop, build and operate the 1-GW wind farm and will hold a 51% stake in it, leaving the remaining 49% to Commerzbank so it could offer equity to interested mid-sized businesses via the new fund.

The partners intend to apply for a seabed for the project within the framework of the tenders scheduled for next year, in accordance with the planned amendment to the German Wind Energy at Sea act. RWE, though, stressed that tender conditions need to be improved in order to make them more attractive.

More specifically, the company is of the opinion that the planned negative bidding component for so-called non-pre-surveyed areas needs to be removed from the current draft law because it would make green electricity unnecessarily more expensive for local companies. In addition, it is pushing for an improvement to the criteria for the award procedure, which have to differentiate between the bids and, at the same time, serve the objective of providing green power in "a smart and system-serving way," RWE concludes.

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