Saturday, January 16, 2021

Financial close on first two phases of ‘world’s largest’ wind farm

The first two phases on what will be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm – located off the east Yorkshire coast – has reached financial close.

The development is spearheaded by a 50:50 joint venture between SSE Renewables and Equinor. All three phases are expected to be completed by March 2026.

Each phase has a capacity of 1,200MW and will generate around 6,000GWh annually. In total, Dogger Bank will produce enough clean, renewable electricity to supply 5% of the UK’s demand, equivalent to powering six million UK homes each year.

The funding of the development of Dogger Bank A and B represents the largest ever offshore wind project financing anywhere in the world and SSE’s expected equity investment forms part of its £7.5 billion investment programme to March 2025, the renewables element of which will double its renewables output by 2025.

Total investment in the first two phases of the project will be around £6 billion and has already secured the creation of 320 new skilled jobs for the North East of England associated with the development and operation of the wind farm, with more to come as construction ramps up.

“We are putting our money where our mouth is on delivering net zero and reinforcing the UK’s position as a world leader,” said SSE Chief Executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies.

“This investment will help drive a green recovery from coronavirus through the project’s construction over the next five years, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.

“Achieving financial close for the first two phases of the world’s largest wind farm is a huge accomplishment and, alongside reaching Seagreen 1 financial close earlier this year, represents significant progress towards achieving our goal of trebling our renewable output by 2030.”

Pål Eitrheim, Equinor EVP of New Energy Solutions, said: “Reaching financial close on the two first phases of Dogger Bank is a major milestone, demonstrating our commitment to profitable growth within offshore wind.

“The extensive interest from lenders, underpins the attractiveness of UK offshore wind assets and confidence in SSE and Equinor.

“As the wind farm’s future operator, we are proud to take this big step forward in delivering what will be the backbone of a growing wind hub in the North Sea.

“Through the sheer scale of the project we have delivered record-low contract prices for the UK market, and as operator of the wind farm we will continue to deliver value to the UK for years to come.”

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