“We’ve built five similar wind farms, we’re learning a lot and things are getting cheaper and, although it’s always a challenge to make the numbers add up for one of these big projects, we’ve managed to do it and we’ll start construction on-shore at Leiston [in Suffolk] on Monday”.
Despite deep cuts to renewables subsidies, Britain’s conservative government remains committed to offshore wind projects, hoping this will help to bridge a looming supply gap in the country’s power supplies as older coal plants close. The addition will offer another 336 MW, or enough to power 336,000 British households with clean power.
The Galloper Offshore Windfarm Project had been left in doubt after energy company Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) a year ago pulled out of the project that was consented, in 2013. “This milestone shows how the UK’s offshore wind industry is going from strength to strength”. The wind power plant is scheduled to be fully operational by March 2018.
Siemens Financial Services and Macquarie Capital will all invest in the GBP-1.5-billion (USD 2.3bn/EUR 2.1bn) project, each taking a 25% stake in it. At the same time, RWE Innogy has secured GBP 1.37 billion of debt facilities for the scheme from a consortium of 12 commercial banks and the European Investment Bank.
Hans Bunting, CEO of RWE Innogy said: “Today’s announcement is the culmination of many months of successful negotiations with our partners and investors and shows that the United Kingdom is still a strong market for offshore renewables”. We are delighted that Siemens, as well as becoming a project partner will also, through their technical division, support key aspects of the project including turbines, turbine installation and maintenance support. BNP Paribas acted as financial advisor to the project.
RWE said three new partners had been found for the 56-turbine project which will create 700 jobs during construction and 100 maintenance posts.
Siemens (Berlin and Munich) has received its first order for the new 7MW offshore wind turbine as the company will supply, install and commission 47 direct drive wind turbines, each with a rotor diameter of 154 meters.
“Together with all of our partners, we look forward to utilising our collective experience and expertise to realise the successful construction of the Galloper wind farm”.
Via Betsy Taylor