Utilities RWE, Vattenfall, and development firm Waterkant Energy have been awarded four offshore wind sites in the North Sea in a tender worth 784 million euros ($864.75 million), the German energy regulator said on Thursday.
The companies secured rights to the areas suited to housing 1.8 gigawatts (GW) of power turbine capacity, the authority, which awarded the rights, said in a statement, adding commissioning was expected in 2028.
The allocation complements a 12.6 billion euros offshore wind tender for 7 GW that two oil majors won last month.
Utility RWE secured 900 MW in the Nordseecluster B, which encompasses areas N-3.6 and N-3.5, some 50 km north of the island of Juist, which RWE in a separate statement, said will start producing from 2029.
As RWE already won tenders for 660 MW of nearby North Sea offshore capacity sites last year, which it hopes to start up in 2027, it expects to achieve considerable synergies, it said.
In addition, RWE received area N-6.6, some 50 km north west of Nordseecluster B, where rival bidder Vattenfall has an option to exercise an entry right for co-operation with RWE, but Vattenfall must decide this by Sept. 14, the regulator said.
Area N-6.7 was given exclusively to Waterkant.
The rights entail the development, construction, and operation of the plants that are guaranteed to receive grid connections.
The regulator, called the Bundesnetzagentur, also said that 90% of the revenue from the tender will go to reducing power prices and the remainder on a 50/50 basis into marine protection and sustainable fishery.
The marine protection part must be paid within one year to the federal budget while the 90% must be paid from 2028 over a period of 20 years.
Whereas the July auction featured a dynamic bidding design, this time the regulator based its decision on what it called "qualitative criteria": money, decarbonization elements, and the application of sustainable technologies.
($1 = 0.9066 euros)
(Reuters - Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Barbara Lewis)