RWE Innogy’s (FWB: RWE) first offshore wind project in Germany has been postponed, with the developer blaming uncertainty over ongoing grid connection issues with the government.

The 295 MW RWE Innogy Nordsee 1 wind farm was to be decided on this year but the company has now  decided to push the development back to 2013, claiming it is waiting for the government to introduce legislation that will guarantee compensation for energy companies if there is a delay in connecting windfarms to the electricity grid.

RWE's Peter Terium

In May, RWE’s incumbent chief executive, Peter Terium, launched a $126m offshore wind vessel that will be used to build the company’s first German offshore windfarm at Nordsee.

But Terium says his company will defer until the government finalises liability arrangements.

“As long as the liability issue of the network operators for delays and failures is not regulated, I will not propose any further projects to the Board of RWE AG, since they would have no chance of approval.”

The Nordsee site will eventually contain three windfarms, Nordsee 1 (48 turbines), Nordsee 2 (48 turbines) and Nordsee 3 (60 turbines), with a potential generating capacity of approximately 1,000 MW, at a cost of $3.7bn. 

Industrial Info reports that RWE and E.ON have both complained about grid connection problems, ranging from cabling issues to getting approval for substations, over the past year. The companies argue that without any official compensation system in place to cover the cost of delays, they will not move ahead with vital investment in Germany’s tiny offshore wind segment.

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