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London — Commissioning of the new 400 MW offshore grid link between Germany and Denmark has been delayed by "a few months" to May 2019, Danish grid operator Energinet said late Thursday.

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"Construction work at the converter station has been delayed for a few months, which means that the power connection is expected to be operational in May 2019," it said adding that the delay is primarily due to a "heated German labor market" for offshore project experts delaying the completion of the onshore converter station near Rostock.

Both subsea cables for the "Combined Grid Solution" or CGS project that link a Danish and German offshore wind farm with both national grids have been installed.

The CGS establishes a 400 MW offshore interconnector between the Danish region of Zealand and Germany's Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Denmark's 600 MW Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm currently under construction and Germany's 288 MW Baltic 2 already operating, are located less than 30 km away from each other and are now connected by two submarine cables.

Start of operations was originally planned for the end of 2018, but already delayed to Q1 2019.

As eastern Denmark and Germany are two different synchronous areas, a frequency transformation is necessary, which will be done by two voltage source converters (VSC) that convert the alternating current (AC) from the Nordic area into direct current (DC) and directly back to AC, now adapted to the European synchronous area, Energinet and German transmission systems operator 50 Hertz said previously.

Both Northern Germany and Denmark often produce a surplus in wind causing grid bottlenecks and reduce available cross-border capacity.

Last month, the start of a new 700 MW Dutch-Danish power interconnector was delayed by at least five months from February to Q3 2019 due to offshore cabling issues.

50 Hertz could not immediately be reached for comment. 50 Hertz is also currently finalizing the Ostwind-1 offshore grid project to link the Arkona and Wikinger projects in Germany's Baltic Sea to the national grid.

Cross-border electricity flows are becoming increasingly important for traders due to volatile wind and declining conventional generation capacity with the so-called market-coupling process optimizing flows from the lowest pricing area to the highest across the region.

--Andreas Franke, andreas.franke@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter, jonathan.carter@spglobal.com