The Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced two equity investments in the UK offshore wind sector. GIB is investing alongside Japan’s Marubeni Corporation to jointly purchase a 50% stake in the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm, from DONG Energy for £240 million.
The bank is additionally paying £220 million for a 10% stake in the Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm, from RWE Innogy. The project off the coast of north Wales is in the final stages of construction.
Dong’s Westermost Rough project, currently in the early stages of construction off the coast of Yorkshire, will utilise Siemens’ next generation 6 MW direct drive turbines which are almost twice the size of the majority of wind turbines operating in UK waters. This is the first time these new turbines will be commercially deployed in the UK and the project is the first time that GIB has taken construction risk in an investment.
Once operational, Westermost Rough will generate over 800GWh of net renewable electricity, equivalent to the electricity consumption of c. 200,000 homes, a city the size of York.
Gwynt y Môr is the largest offshore wind farm under construction in Europe. Once operational it will generate over 1,700 GWh of net renewable electricity each year. This is equivalent to the electricity consumption of c. 400,000 households or meeting the electricity requirements of a city the size of Bristol.
The proceeds of both sales are expected to be reinvested back into renewable energy projects in the UK.
UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said:
“The Green Investment Bank is playing a game-changing role in financing our transition to a green economy. The Bank has now invested well over £600 million in five offshore wind farms and mobilised £1.3 billion of total funding.
“This industry has the potential to generate thousands of new skilled jobs and billions in business investment.
“Both the Westermost Rough and Gwynt y Môr projects will use Siemens turbines which demonstrates why their decision last week to build new manufacturing facilities in the UK was so important. Through our industrial strategy we are working in partnership with business to give companies the confidence to invest, securing high skilled manufacturing jobs and a stronger economy.”
UK Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, added:
“The UK is number one in the world for investment in offshore wind. This news is proof of the strength of investment in British energy infrastructure – and proof that the Government’s strategy is working – supporting green jobs across the country and delivering secure energy supplies for the future. £34 billion worth of investment has been announced since 2010 thanks to our electricity market reforms which give investors long-term certainty.”
Samuel Leupold, Executive Vice President, DONG Energy Wind Power, said:
“The agreement with Marubeni and the UK Green Investment Bank is a major step for DONG Energy’s partnership model. We have been able to enter into a shared construction risk partnership and at the same time we have locked-in significant value creation from the transaction.
“Marubeni and UK Green Investment Bank are two well-established and credible strategic investors and their decision to become our joint venture partners in Westermost Rough is a vote of confidence in DONG Energy’s ability to manage and execute offshore wind construction projects and to deploy new technology. We are proud of being recognised internationally as an attractive partner and a market leader in offshore wind.
“By 2020 we want to triple our installed capacity of offshore wind compared to what we have built today. Today’s agreement enables us to free up capital to continue our investment programme and meet our 2020 target.”
Dr Hans Bünting, Chief Executive, RWE Innogy said:
“Our aim is to raise additional capital for the extension of renewable energy in Europe by creating attractive investment models. I am delighted that the Green Investment Bank has chosen RWE once again for its investment in the offshore wind sector. This reinforces the quality and attractiveness of our projects”.