On 27 September, the EC approved Belgian plans to support with maximum funding of up to €3,5 billion, three projects: the Mermaid (235 MW), Seastar (252 MW) and Northwester2 (219 MW) offshore wind farms. In December 2016, the EC approved under EU state aid rules a Belgian offshore RES scheme under which operators receive certificates from the federal energy Regulator (CREG). The operators can then sell these certificates to the transmission system operator, Elia, at a premium on top of the price they receive for electricity sold on the market. The support to the Mermaid, Seastar and Northwester2 windfarm projects is granted under this scheme.
Additionally, on 25 September, the EC has approved under state aid rules, German plans to construct a highly-efficient combined-cycle gas turbine co-generation plant, as well as plans to modernise an existing plant in Herne. The two individual support measures are granted under Germany’s 2016 Combined Heat and Generation Act (CHP Act), which was itself approved in October 2016. Germany had to notify the two support measures to the EC individually, because both plants exceed the 300 MW notification threshold set out in EU state aid rules. Under the scheme, operators of highly efficient cogeneration plants receive a premium on top of the market price.