Fitch Ratings has affirmed WindMW GmbH's notes due in 2027 as follows.

USD438.6 million notes series A due 2027 affirmed at 'BBB-'; Stable Outlook

EUR88 million notes series B due 2027 affirmed at 'BBB-'; Stable Outlook

EUR58 million German notes 2027 due 2027 affirmed at 'BBB-'; Stable Outlook


The rating reflects favourable regulatory environment under the German Renewable Energy Act with regulated fixed pricing until 2027, protective structural features, and a financial cushion sufficient to withstand Fitch rating case (FRC) production and cost stresses. It also reflects the refinancing risk on the notes' balloon amount under merchant conditions in 2027.

Under the FRC, the total average debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) is 1.35x for 2024-2027, with a minimum 1.18x in 2024, largely driven by one-off stresses on operations and maintenance (O&M) costs. The project life coverage ratio (PLCR) at maturity in 2027 stands at 1.97x, underscoring the ability to repay its debt over the remaining economic life.


German Regulated Pricing until 2027 - Revenue Risk - Price: 'Midrange'

Until 2027, the project receives a regulated fixed feed-in-tariff of EUR150/MWh plus an additional EUR4/MWh premium under the direct marketing model. The feed-in-tariff and the direct marketing premium are regulated under the German Renewable Energy Act and any modifications are subject to legislative actions. At 2027 refinancing, the project can elect to receive either EUR39/MWh (including EUR4/MWh direct marketing premium) or the prevailing market price until 2034. The project will be fully exposed to market electricity prices from 2035.

The project's exposure to an electricity trading company and the grid operator Tennet TSO GmbH does not cap the ratings as Fitch views the exposure as systemic. Fitch views exposure to payment counterparties as a form of possible temporary liquidity stress rather than a constraint on the ratings.

Early Actual Results - Revenue Risk - Volume: 'Midrange'

The project is protected against curtailment risk under the regulatory framework.

Wind resource forecasts and production estimates were prepared by two experienced advisers based on measurements from two masts located 76km and 92km from the project. The two forecasts showed consistent results, with an 8.6% difference between P50 and 1yP90. Actual generation has been between Fitch base case (FBC) and FRC. Together, this supports the 'Midrange' assessment.

Experienced Operator - Operation Risk: 'Midrange'

The project benefits from proven technology (Siemens 3.6-120 turbines), maintains an experienced management team and incorporates a collaborative O&M plan with Siemens. A contract until late 2027 with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energies (SGRE) provides greater visibility of costs. Fitch views the redundancy in the project design as a key strength, mitigating various single points of failure that typically affect offshore wind projects. In addition, export cables are excluded from the scope of the project, which reduces operating risk.

Manageable Refinancing Risk - Debt Structure: 'Midrange'

The 'Midrange' assessment reflects the refinancing risk in 2027 of a EUR119 million balloon. Our analysis indicates that refinancing risk should be manageable and does not prevent the notes from achieving an investment-grade rating. The cash sweep mechanism in place is aimed at reducing the balloon. It is based on reasonably conservative triggers and reduces refinancing risk.

The project also benefits from a six-month debt service reserve, a major maintenance reserve up to the maximum amount of the planned mid-life capex works, along with a EUR25 million working capital line of credit supporting the O&M reserve. A 12-month backward-and forward-looking DSCR covenant of 1.25x is maintained for distributions. Interest rates are fixed for the notes and a currency swap hedges USD/EUR rate with the issuance of the US dollar-denominated notes, protecting the project from exchange rate movements up to and including the maturity of the notes.

Financial Profile

Under the FBC, the average DSCR is 1.63x and the minimum 1.35x in 2024. Under the FRC, the average DSCR is 1.35x with a minimum of 1.18x in 2024 and a PLCR at 2027 maturity of 1.97x. The minimum DSCR in 2024 is largely driven by one-off costs stresses assumed to capture the potential effect of cable repairs and the resolution of TenneT's claim linked to the registration of the power boost system. The profile is consistent with the investment-grade threshold of 1.3x for wind projects in line with our criteria guidance.


Dudgeon Offshore Wind Limited (A-/Stable) is a 402MW offshore wind farm in the UK, 32km off the Norfolk coast, displays similar exposure to volume risk and also benefits from a fixed regulated strike price (not indexed). WindMW is protected through regulation against transmission cable outages. However, debt metrics are stronger for Dudgeon, with an average DSCR of 1.60x under the FRC and it has no exposure to refinancing or merchant risk, unlike WindMW's notes.

The risk profile of the notes up to their scheduled maturity in 2027 compares well with those of several onshore wind farm projects rated by Fitch in the US such as Continental Wind LLC (BBB/Stable) with a FRC average DSCR of 1.36x. This project is fully contracted with no exposure to merchant prices. However, this peer is not exposed to refinancing risk and therefore does not constitute useful benchmarks for assessing the notes' refinancing exposure.


Factors that Could, Individually or Collectively, Lead to Negative Rating Action/Downgrade

Projected DSCR consistently below 1.3x until 2027 and PLCR below 1.7x at 2027 refinancing under the FRC

Factors that Could, Individually or Collectively, Lead to Positive Rating Action/Upgrade

Projected DSCR materially above 1.4x until 2027 and PLCR above 2.0x at 2027 refinancing under the FRC


WindMW operates a 288MW offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. The farm comprises 80 Siemens wind turbine generators (3.6-120). Construction was completed in early 2015. The project is 80%-owned by China Three Gorges Corporation (A+/Stable) and 20% by Windland Energieerzeugungs GmbH.


The annual DSCR as of June 2023 was 1.58x, up from 1.40x in June 2022 due to high market prices above the regulated cap despite low availability levels in 1H23.

Average 2015-1H23 production remained consistently between FBC and FRC. During 1H23, electricity generation was 15% below FBC and 4% below FRC due to cable repair works.

The new power grid management system Redispatch 2.0. came into effect in October 2021. It introduces new obligations to plant operators, in terms of data exchange in relation to planning, outages and adjustments. This has translated into higher fees charged by the direct marketer to WindMW.

Energy market prices have normalised in 2023 after they reached an all-time high in August 2022 at an average EUR476.1/MWh for the month. However, with a 1H2023 average of EUR94/MWh, prices remain high versus average prices of EUR41/MWh and EUR32/MWh in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Notably, market prices are largely irrelevant for WindMW before 2027, during which the project benefits from regulated revenues.

German government measures to reduce excess profits from high market prices expired in July 2023. The cap had a limited effect on WindMW.

WindMW is implementing preventative remediation measures to address the cables defects in the operations support system (OSS) and turbines first reported in November 2020. The works are expected to be completed in 2024.

Fitch notes an outstanding claim by Tennet, arguing WindMW should have registered the increased capacity linked power boost system in the Federal Network Agency when it was implemented. The resolution of the claim is still highly uncertain in timing and amount.

A tax audit identified potential liabilities for WindMW with respect to the change of control that occurred in June 2016. There is currently no estimate of the possible impact in amount or timing.


The FBC applies a P50 production assumption and an additional 4% stress to production. The FBC also assumes 96% availability and a 15% cost stress to reflect higher- than-expected operating costs. The FRC uses 1YP90 production assumption with a 4% stress and availability levels of 95% until 2027 and 93% thereafter. In addition, the FRC assumes an additional cost stress of 10% from 2028, which reflects the maturity of SGRE's contract, and uncertainty regarding future costs.

Fitch conservatively stressed costs for 2024 to test the project's ability to accommodate potential one-off costs linked to cables repair and Tennet's claim. We believe this will not materially affect WindMW's credit profile as the minimum DSRC of 1.2x in the FRC returns within the 1.3x investment-grade threshold in the following year.


The principal sources of information used in the analysis are described in the Applicable Criteria.

ESG Considerations

The highest level of ESG credit relevance is a score of '3', unless otherwise disclosed in this section. A score of '3' means ESG issues are credit-neutral or have only a minimal credit impact on the entity, either due to their nature or the way in which they are being managed by the entity. Fitch's ESG Relevance Scores are not inputs in the rating process; they are an observation on the relevance and materiality of ESG factors in the rating decision. For more information on Fitch's ESG Relevance Scores, visit

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