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Construction of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm is set to go ahead after energy firm SSE renewables reached financial close on the first phase of the scheme.
SSE and its joint venture partner Equinor are now proceeding
with the first two phases of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm off the north east coast
of England. Once all three phases are complete by March 2026, it will be the
largest in the world.
Each phase has a capacity of 1,200MW and will generate
around 6,000GWh annually. In total, Dogger Bank will produce enough electricity
to supply 5% of the UK’s demand.
Total investment in the first two phases of the project will
be around £6bn 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.
SSE Renewables is currently also leading the construction of
the Seagreen offshore wind farm (1,075MW, SSE Renewables share 49%), which will
be Scotland’s largest on completion, and the wholly-owned Viking wind farm
Alistair Philips-Davies, SSE chief executive, said: “We are
proud to be leading on the construction and development of Dogger Bank Wind
Farm, which has been 10 years in the making. We are putting our money where our
mouth is on delivering net zero and reinforcing the UK’s position as a world
leader. 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.”