26 Feb 15 Projects Scotland

UK Government awards Mainstream CfD for £2bn offshore wind farm

OffshoreMainstream today secured a fifteen year Contract for Difference (CfD) from National Grid for its 450 megawatt Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm located in the Outer Forth Estuary in the North Sea.  The CfD, which was awarded to Mainstream under a competitive tendering process, gives the wind farm an inflation-linked strike price for the electricity it produces for a period of fifteen years. The wind farm, which was awarded planning consent in October 2014, is expected to be generating electricity and fully commissioned by 2020. Mainstream will sign the CfD contract next month and will then proceed towards a Final Investment Decision in Q1 2016.  Funding for the project is well advanced, having pre-qualified for the Infrastructure UK Treasury Guarantee and the new €315bn European Fund for Strategic Investments. The company will make lead bank appointments in the coming weeks. Energy & Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey said: “This world leading auction has delivered contracts for renewables projects right across the UK. These projects could power 1.4 million homes, create thousands of green jobs and give a massive boost to home-grown energy while reducing our reliance on volatile foreign markets. The auction has driven down prices and secured the best possible deal for this new clean, green energy.” Andy Kinsella, Chief Operating Officer for Mainstream Renewable Power said: “Mainstream is delighted to have been awarded this contract today and we look forward to getting the wind farm construction-ready over the coming months in partnership with Siemens and GeoSea.  What’s unique about this project is that it will be the first time a UK offshore wind farm of this scale will be built using project finance alone. Today’s announcement is the result of seven years of dedication and demonstrates Mainstream’s world-class expertise in project development, engineering and finance.” This will be the first large-scale offshore wind farm constructed and operated in Scottish waters to be directly connected to the Scottish electricity system. The 450 megawatt wind farm will have the capacity to deliver enough power for 325,000 homes (more than the number of homes in Edinburgh) and equal to 3.7% of Scotland’s total electricity demand. Mainstream Renewable Power was awarded exclusivity by The Crown Estate in 2009; The NnG site was deemed suitable for the development of offshore wind by the Scottish Government’s Strategic Environmental Assessment in 2011; NnG secured its grid connection in 2010; and an Agreement for Lease was reached with The Crown Estate in 2011. Ends   Further information about the Neart na Gaoithe Wind Farm The wind farm will consist of up to 75 wind turbines and will occupy an area of approximately 105 square kilometres.  At its closest point to land it lies over 15 kilometres off the Fife coast in water depths of 45-55 metres. The subsea cable transmitting the wind farm’s power will come ashore at Thorntonloch Beach in East Lothian from where its underground cable will travel along a 12.5 kilometre route to a substation located within the Crystal Rig onshore wind farm in the Lammermuir Hills. Planning permission for the route of the underground cable was received from East Lothian Council in 2013. NnG will create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs during its construction as well as throughout its operational life.  About Mainstream Renewable Power Mainstream Renewable Power is one of the world’s leading independent developers of renewable energy projects. With a development pipeline of over 17,000 megawatts globally it is currently operating and constructing solar and wind farms across Ireland, South Africa, Chile and Canada. As Europe’s leading independent offshore wind developer Mainstream was recently granted consent to build and operate two multi-billion pound offshore wind farms in the UK. The company has offices in Berlin, Cape Town, Chicago, Dublin, Glasgow, Johannesburg, London and Santiago.  Contact: Emmet Curley Head of Communications Mainstream Renewable Power Emmet.curley@mainstreamrp.com Tel: +27 21 657 4071 Mob : +27 60 564 6588