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Statkraft enables further operation of six wind farms after expiry of EEG subsidies with its first wind PPA in Germany

03 Sep, 2018

Statkraft and six community wind farms agree on power purchase agreements for 31 wind turbines. This will allow these wind farms in Germany to continue operating in the long term after the end of EEG funding. The green electricity will be used in the future to supply industrial companies.

Wind mill at Kunst und Wind

The agreed power purchase agreements between Germany's largest direct marketer and the community wind farms are a novelty in the German energy industry: for the first time, wind farms in Germany will continue to be operated in the long term after the end of EEG subsidies and will be used to supply industrial companies with green electricity. The agreement shows that the economic operation of wind farms is possible after 2020 and the dismantling of existing installations can be prevented.

“In many cases, operation without subsidies is possible when market-oriented action, targeted marketing and efficient operations come together,” says Dr. Carsten Poppinga, Managing Director of Statkraft in Germany. “The wind power will be used to supply a large German industrial company without whose commitment the wind farms would have been shut down.” Poppinga continues: “Many of our industrial customers have set themselves sustainability targets and are therefore interested in a supply of green electricity. Statkraft combines German wind power with power from other renewable sources and by that balances generation and consumption.” 

“We are pleased that, in addition to the technical requirements, we have now been able to secure the economic further operation of the 31 wind turbines for the next few years," says Jan Pinkernelle, Managing Director of the community wind farms. "On the technical side, we have a strong partner with GE Renewable Energy. This enables us to guarantee Statkraft the agreed electricity supply and secure our revenues. This agreement ensures that over 1,000 private individuals can carry on their engagement in these community wind farms. The wind farms will continue to make an important contribution to the energy transition even after the end of EEG funding.”

EEG funding for around 6,000 German wind turbines will expire on 1 January 2021. This corresponds to a total installed capacity of around 4,500 megawatts; enough to cover the electricity needs of around 2.1 million households. According to current data, around 14,000 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of around 17,000 megawatts will no longer receive EEG subsidies in the period 2021 to 2026. This corresponds to more than one third of the onshore wind power currently installed in Germany.

Wind farms are no longer eligible for EEG subsidies after 20 years. In order to enable these plants to continue to operate, plant operators must submit a stability assessment and find alternative sales channels for the electricity. The basis for the targeted marketing of wind installations, whose subsidies have ended, is secure operation. In the case of the agreement now concluded, this will be supported by a tailored maintenance concept from GE Renewable Energy.

With the jointly developed concept, Statkraft and the six community wind farms provide proof that wind farms can continue to be operated economically after the funding period has expired.