CONSTRUCTION of the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm is now underway following confirmation from EDF Renewables that financial close for the project has been achieved. Twenty-five (25) financial institutions are lending money to fund the wind farm which will supply enough low carbon electricity for around 375,000 homes*.
EDF Renewables is also announcing that leading Irish energy company ESB is taking a 50% stake in the project.
NnG has a capacity of c. 450 megawatts (MW) of low carbon energy and will offset over 400,000 tonnes of Co2 emissions each year. Construction of components is now underway, offshore construction will start in June 2020 and full commissioning will complete in 2023.
EDF Renewables UK CEO Matthieu Hue said, “These are hugely important milestones for the project, and a great credit to the EDF Renewables team. We are excited to get work underway with our new equity partner ESB, our contractors, and all Scottish companies and stakeholders participating in the project. The 450 MW NnG project will play an important role in de-carbonising the UK electricity system and is a further example of EDF Renewables continuous investment and growth in Scotland.”
Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB, says that the significant acquisition represents another key milestone in the company’s investment in offshore wind. “Our 50 percent stake in Neart na Gaoithe fits entirely with ESB’s Brighter Future strategy to build a balanced low carbon generation portfolio of scale. Offshore wind is one of the main technologies underpinning the clean electricity systems that will power our societies into the future. This investment in the Neart na Gaoithe project builds on significant ESB involvement in offshore wind off the Irish coast as ESB develops its experience to assist Ireland deliver its Climate Action Plan. We look forward to pooling our expertise with EDF Renewables in delivering this major project.”
Following the successful development of the site, NnG will now move in to a full lease with Crown Estate Scotland to allow the construction and operation of the wind farm.
Investment in Scotland
NnG will bring a further boost to the offshore wind industry in Scotland, providing new jobs and manufacturing opportunities.
EDF Renewables UK has already increased its Edinburgh team from 44 people to over 100 people at the Atria One building in Scotland’s capital city.
All of the project’s 54 turbines will be assembled at the Port of Dundee before being sailed to the site and the Scottish engineering firm BiFab will build a number of the foundation jackets.
Project servicing and maintenance will take place at the Scottish NnG Operations and Maintenance base where there will be 50 permanent jobs over the 25-year lifetime of the wind farm. The preferred supplier at this stage is Eyemouth Harbour.
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