Deutsche Bahn to use EnBW wind farm for green traction power

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Deutsche Bahn has announced the signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) with German energy firm EnBW for the supply of renewable electricity for green traction current from the He Dreiht offshore wind farm in the North Sea.

The PPA is part of Deutsche Bahn’s goal of being climate neutral by 2040. He Dreiht, which is being built by EnBW, will supply green electricity to DB for 15 years from 2026 onwards. This will help the German railway operator save up to 60,000 tons of CO2 per year.

Work on the He Dreiht wind farm, which is being built in the North Sea about 90km northwest of Borkum, will commence in 2024, with operations due to begin at the end of 2025. EnBW secured the contract for the wind farm in the first offshore tender in Germany in 2017 and will invest around €2.4bn in the construction of the system.

The plan is to install 64 latest-generation Vestas turbines. With a rated output of 15MW, the turbines are among the most powerful systems currently on the market. With these, the wind farm has a total installed generation capacity of 960MW, making it one of the largest energy transition projects in Europe.

Deutsche Bahn is already the largest consumer of green electricity in Germany. The share of renewable energies in the DB traction power mix is ​​around 65% currently, and thus well above the public green power mix in Germany, which is currently under 50%.

The electricity comes from an ever-expanding portfolio. In addition to green electricity from solar parks, DB already has a supply contract with the RWE Amrumbank-West wind farm in the North Sea. 

By 2030, DB will increase the share of green electricity in the DB traction current mix to 80% and finally to 100% by 2038.