Hengeler Mueller defends TenneT against EUR 144 m-offshore-damage-claims brought by Trianel

07. March 2016

On 3 March 2016, the Regional Court of Bayreuth rejected the damage claim of approximately EUR 144 m brought by der Trianel Windkraftwerk Borkum GmbH & Co. KG against TenneT TSO GmbH following a lawsuit lasting around three and a half years. Trianel had claimed compensation of extra costs and lost feed-in remuneration from TenneT being the transmission system operator responsible for the grid connection of the offshore wind farm because the commissioning of the offshore wind farm “Borkum” originally planned for February 2013 had been delayed.

The legal dispute had raised the fundamental question whether operators of offshore wind farms could claim compensation in the general amount of 90% of the EEG feed-in tariffs on delayed grid connections made after the new rules having been implemented at the end of December 2012 and if further entitlement to compensation of financial losses (§ 17e Abs. 2 Satz 3 EnWG) was effectively excluded. The Regional Court of Bayreuth has affirmed this. The court emphasized that the legal exclusion of a claim is also constitutional in relation to the rejection of legitimate interests as long as cases are covered in which the reason for the delay lay ahead of the new regulation coming into effect but the damage occurred after the inception. If the decision becomes final, transmission system operators and electricity customers will be spared further large increased costs in the high technology sector and offshore wind energy production.

Hengeler Mueller represents the defendant TenneT. The Hengeler Mueller team included partner Dirk Uwer as well as counsels Jörg Meinzenbach and Daniel J Zimmer (all Energy, Düsseldorf).