Vattenfall plans expansion

Swedish utility company Vattenfall plans to more than triple its offshore wind power by 2025. The company started producing power at its Sandbank German offshore wind farm in the North Sea last week, bringing its installed offshore wind capacity up to 2.2 gigawatts (GW).

Vattenfall executive group management member in charge of wind Gunnar Groebler said that “we aim for at least 7 GW by 2025 and I would not rule out that we achieve more.”

Vattenfall will bid in the Kriegers Flak tender in Denmark this quarter and will hire 150 more staff in wind power over the next 12 months, Groebler told Reuters in an interview.

Dong’s winning bid for the Borssele 1 and 2 projects said it could produce electricity at 72.2 euros per megawatt hour (MWh). This compared with 103 euros/MWh achieved by Vattenfall’s win of the Horns Rev 3 tender in Denmark last year, then thought to be a breakthrough.

However, wholesale power generated from fossil fuels in Germany currently fetches 26 euros/MWh.

Depending on how much power market prices rise up to 2025, offshore wind could become subsidy-free by that date, Groebler said.

Future turbines offering 8 megawatts (MW), double the current size, would provide better scale and also allow for operational savings over many years, he said.