Canadian energy company Enbridge has acquired 49.9% stake in Energie Baden-Wurttemberg's (EnBW) 497MW Hohe See offshore wind farm for €1.8bn.

The offshore wind farm is being considered as the largest in Germany and it will be located in the North Sea. EnBW also says that it is company's strategic orientation towards renewable energy sources.

EnBW will retain 50.1% stake in the wind farm and two companies jointly participate in the project. Rules of the acquisition state that the two companies shall jointly finance the wind farm from construction through to commissioning.

EnBW will control and monitor all activities during the further realisation of the project, while Enbridge will support the project by its employees who will be integrated into EnBW’s project team.

The operations and maintenance of the finished project will be handled by EnBW, based on a service and management contract.

The wind farm shall be constructed in the North Sea, about 90km north of Borkum and 100km northwest of Helgoland and will cover an area of about 42km2.

The wind farm will feature 71 of Siemens wind turbines, each with a capacity of 7MW. Commissioning of the wind farm is expected to take place in 2019 and it is estimated to generate about 2 billion kWh of electricity per year.

Energy generated from the wind farm will be enough to power about 560,000 households while saving about 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

Construction phase of the project has begun by issuing a notice to proceed to the suppliers of the main infrastructure work.  

EnBW CEO Frank Mastiaux said: “With Enbridge at our side, we can realise our largest offshore wind farm to date and at the same time generate financial scope through this participation for the development of new projects. This is now the third successful participation model with which we are sharing the risk and represents another major step in the implementation of our EnBW 2020 strategy.

“With an investment volume of around €1.8bn, we have not only taken one of the largest investment decisions in the history of our company but despite the currently difficult economic conditions, we are continuing to rigorously invest in the implementation of our strategy and through EnBW Hohe See we are developing another cornerstone for safeguarding the future of EnBW. Following its commissioning in 2019, the wind farm will make a substantial contribution to our Group operating result.”

Enbridge president and CEO Al Monaco said: “We’re excited to join a partner of EnBW’s proven capabilities and leadership in power generation on what will be a very meaningful project in the German Energiewende.

“The Hohe See project is consistent with Enbridge’s strategy to increase our presence in the renewable power business and it comes with an additional organic growth opportunity within the European offshore wind market.

“We like this business, and this project in particular, as it is supported by strong commercial underpinnings and provides attractive returns that are consistent with our investor value proposition.”