German energy giants' renewables merger moves forward

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 31 Jan 2019

The merger of two German energy companies’ offshore wind interests - both represented in Grimsby - has moved a step closer.

RWE, current owner of Innogy - developer of Triton Knoll - is looking to acquire the renewables operations of E.on, which includes the closest wind farm to the town, Humber Gateway.

It will hold on to the green assets of Innogy, while E.on will take the remainder of the business.  

This past week has seen both file applications to the European Commission in Brussels, the first step in a diverse merger control procedure, which both parties hope to complete in the second half of the year.

E.on’s 219 MW 73-turbine development has been generating since May 2015, from an operations and maintenance base in Port of Grimsby East.

For Innogy, Triton Knoll is about to land in the town, with the 857 MW farm’s onshore construction underway, as the electricity system snakes out off the Lincolnshire coast. 

Also on the horizon is the Sofia wind farm, part of the Dogger Bank Zone off the North Yorkshire coast. 

Innogy will have a strong presence in Grimsby next week as it hosts a major supplier event as part of Grimsby Renewables Partnership’s 2019 conference, at Humber Royal Hotel.

On completion of the transaction, RWE will become a global renewables player, with 60 per cent of the generation portfolio with low or zero carbon dioxide emissions. The declared goal is to continue expanding this business on a global scale. E.on will become a focused operator of European energy networks and provider of modern customer solutions.

What the deal will mean on the ground remains to be seen, with Triton Knoll holding a Memorandum of Understanding with Associated British Ports to develop a base, with 170 jobs anticipated.

Where on the port estate it emerges has yet to be revealed. Further offshore than Humber Gateway, much will depend on vessel decisions to serve the 90 MHI Vestas 9.5MW turbines, the largest controlled in Grimsby to date. Royal Dock is capable of supporting the emerging generation of service operation vessels, as selected by Orsted, while Port of Grimsby East, the rebranded fish docks, has ably looked after the first four offshore wind farms.

Orsted’s original base on the old Service Quay, adjacent to E.on’s site, could be of interest with obvious synergies to be gained. In terms of footprint, RES has yet to develop land it held immediately behind.  

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