OWC Germany delivering offshore wind site assessments

Germany’s remarkable seabed leasing auction in June reached quite a milestone for its offshore wind history. Through the first dynamic bidding process, 7 GW of offshore wind capacity was awarded to BP and TotalEnergies (out of a possible 8.8 GW for 2023) across four sites, with the next auction following on the 1st of August.

More extraordinary was the value of the winning bids, which reached a total of EUR12.6 billion, for sites that have had no detailed site investigations performed prior to the auctions by the BSH (Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie – the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency). Criticism has been heard around the design of the auction. The uncapped negative bidding process generated awards based on price only, meaning costs will be passed on to consumers already struggling through the cost-of-living crisis, and to the stretched supply chain suffering with inflation and surging input costs.

In the auction on 1st August, Germany tendered the remaining 1.8 GW of offshore wind. These sites will be awarded under a different auction design which includes one price-based criterion, worth 60% of the final bid evaluation, and four non-price-based criteria each worth 10%: environmentally friendly foundations, contribution to skilled workforce, CO2 footprint in the production of the wind turbines, and the existence of PPA contracts.

At OWC Germany, we have experience providing bid support and advice to several clients in the North and Baltic Seas – including successful support of full site and constraint assessments for a client on 2023 and 2024 bids, equaling 16.8 GW. Metocean characterisation studies and energy yield assessments are two crucial elements in determining the technical layout of an offshore wind farm and should be considered as early as possible in the project – especially considering that no site investigations have been carried out by the BSH for any of the 7 GW sites already auctioned.

As part of our site assessment, OWC’s Metocean and Measurements Advisory team has conducted metocean characterisation studies to assess the wind, wave and hydrodynamic conditions at the different project sites. We compared all available metocean public domain models and identified the most suitable data sets through validation with offshore in-situ and satellite measurements.

Drawing upon the extensive expertise in assessing the long-term wind climate specific to the region, our team focused on designing representative future wake scenarios with suitable WTG technology and layouts. As a result, OWC has undertaken an all-encompassing wake simulation exercise, spanning yearly simulations throughout the operational lifetime of the considered project(s). Our meticulous modelling has yielded profound insights, empowering us to provide precise and comprehensive projections on the anticipated overall net energy yield.

We recommend starting the technical design of the offshore wind farm as soon as possible after the award to ensure the right design parameters of the technical layout, to identify and de-risk cost drivers.

OWC Services in Germany include:

Interested in further information on how our local experts in Germany can support your next project in the North and Baltic Seas? Reach out to Nils Falkenhorst, our country manager for Germany.

Nils Falkenhorst OWC Germany