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Enbridge plugs C$1.7bn into German offshore wind farm

The 497MW project will add to the company’s growing portfolio of offshore wind farms, which currently comprises 1.8GW of projects.

Canadian energy firm Enbridge is to invest C$1.7 billion ($1.3 billion; €1.2 billion) into what is set to be the largest offshore wind farm in Germany. 

The company will join forces with German utility EnBW, which has so far taken the 497MW Hohe See project to the late-design stage, by acquiring a 49.9 percent stake in the facility. The deal also includes an option to invest in EnBW’s 116MW Albatross offshore project, which its board is expected to take a decision on early this year.

Enbridge said its investment will consist of C$600 million over the next 10 months, with the remaining capital to be invested in 2018 and 2019, before the project becomes operational. The equity has already been funded through share offerings from the firm towards the end of last year.

“Offshore wind presents promising large-scale opportunities to increase Enbridge's presence in the renewable power business and is one of our key platforms in the growth of our enterprise going forward,” said Enbridge chief executive Al Monaco. “We like this business, and this project in particular, as it is supported by strong commercial underpinnings and provides attractive returns that are consistent with our investor value proposition.”

The Hohe See project is the latest addition to the firm’s European offshore wind portfolio. The company acquired a 24.9 percent stake in the UK’s 400MW Rampion project in 2015 after buying a 50 percent share in a vehicle alongside EDF last year to develop up to 1.4GW of offshore wind in France.

Enbridge created North America’s largest energy infrastructure firm when it paid C$37 billion to acquire US counterpart Spectra Energy in September, a deal expected to close in the first half of this year after it received board approval in December.