October 20, 2012 / 11:06 AM / 6 years ago

TenneT needs time to link North Sea wind farms - report

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch state-owned power grid operator TenneT wants more time to link up wind farms in the North Sea with Germany’s electricity grid, director Lex Hartman was reported as saying by Dutch news agency ANP.

TenneT, which owns TenneT TSO - one of Germany’s four grid operators - is responsible for connecting North Sea wind plants to Germany’s electricity grid as part of the country’s shift away from nuclear power.

“The industry is simply not in a position to carry out in three years what was meant to take 10,” Lex Hartman said, according to ANP.

“There are just three companies in the world that can provide the right technology,” he said, adding wind turbine manufacturers were struggling to keep up with the pace set by Germany.

TenneT said in April it would invest 14 billion euros ($18 billion) over 10 years in the Dutch and German networks. It cannot finance the cost of linking up the German offshore plants alone, and is looking for partners.

The expansion of offshore wind is one of the cornerstones of German efforts to master the so-called Energiewende, the energy shift caused by its decision to abandon nuclear power by 2022 and boost renewable sources of power.

The government wants to have more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore capacity by 2020, and 35,000 MW by 2030, vital in replacing 20,500 MW nuclear capacity that will go offline by end-2022.

Reporting By Thomas Escritt; Editing by Dan Lalor

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