Global renewable energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power today announced the signing of an Agreement for Lease (AFL) with The Crown Estate for its 450MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scottish territorial waters. The agreement, which secures an option for the rights to use, as well as sets out the commercial terms for the use of the seabed, is a significant step towards delivering the project into construction in 2014. Located in the Outer Forth Estuary, the wind farm will deliver 3.7% of Scotland’s electricity demand when fully operational. Earlier this year, the Scottish Government’s Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) earmarked the wind farm as one of only six in the current Scottish Territorial Waters programme suitable for development. Having secured grid connection in 2010, Mainstream plans to submit its application for Environmental Consents this year with a view to reaching financial close in 2013 and the start of construction in 2014. Mainstream’s Chief Executive, Eddie O’Connor said: “Mainstream is following a strategic risk diversification policy of investing in both onshore and offshore wind as well as solar. The profound electricity future for Europe is about offshore wind, in which Mainstream has established a pre-eminent position. In addition to a very large near-term build programme onshore across a number of jurisdictions, Mainstream is delighted to report on this progress of our offshore endeavours.”
Neart Na Gaoithe Wind Farm
Mainstream won the rights to develop the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe (“NnG”) site located in Scottish Territorial Waters through the 2008 competitive bidding process with Crown Estate Scotland.
The NnG Offshore Wind Farm represents a £1.8bn investment and was sold ‘construction-ready’ to EDF Renewables in 2018 following a competitive bidding process. ESB purchased a 50% stake in the project in November 2019.
The NnG project is currently in construction and is expected to be fully operational in 2023. NnG will provide power for around 375,000 homes and will offset more than 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
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