RWE and Commerzbank intend to establish a Green Mittelstand Fund to offer medium-sized industrial companies in Germany the opportunity to secure a supply of green electricity. “The idea is as innovative as it is reasonable,” the two companies said after signing a memorandum of understanding.
RWE and Commerzbank plan to construct an offshore wind farm with an installed capacity of around 1 gigawatt (GW) by applying for a seabed for the facility on auctions expected to take place in 2023. The German energy company will develop, build and operate the wind farm.
RWE plans to hold 51% of the shares while the remaining 49% are to be offered to interested medium-sized firms by Commerzbank via the Green Mittelstand Fund, they said.
Smaller companies will be offered two options to obtain green electricity
The firms will have two options. The fund will offer the signing of long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs), so far possible only for large companies. The plan is to start with a tranche corresponding to a capacity of 5 MW – tailored to the electricity needs of medium-sized entities.
The second opportunity is to participate directly in the planned offshore wind farm via individual financing and credit solutions for equity investments. According to RWE and Commerzbank, the two options can be combined.
Michael Kotzbauer, Member of the Board of Managing Directors at Commerzbank responsible for corporate clients, said that with the innovative solution, the bank wants in particular to give mid-sized firms access to green electricity production from offshore wind turbines and thus contribute to financing the energy transition in Germany.
German Wind Energy at Sea act must be amended to enable investments in offshore wind
The government plans to amend the German Wind Energy at Sea to increase the production of renewables and reach climate neutrality by 2045.
According to Ulf Kerstin, Chief Commercial Officer Offshore Wind of RWE, green electricity at competitive prices is the pledge of a sustainable industrial nation with a strong tradition of the ‘Mittelstand’.
RWE’s concept opens up great opportunities for this because it can support companies and the energy transition, he said and added that electricity from offshore can be offered at competitive prices.