Irish renewable energy firm vows to start work on 450-MW Scottish offshore turbine farm in 2019 …subject to legal appeal

Location of proposed NnG offshore wind farm (in dark purple).
Location of proposed NnG offshore wind farm (in dark purple).

A Dublin-based wind energy developer confirmed yesterday that it plans to start construction of the large-scale 450-MW Neart na Gaoithe** offshore wind farm in Scotland in Spring 2019.

Mainstream Renewable Power made the announcement an arbitration tribunal made a decision in its favour after Low Carbon Contracts Co Ltd unilterally terminated the CfD for the Neart na Gaoithe project last year.

No details of the nature or value of the dispute have been provided by these companies.

The initial Scot-Govt. decision to approve four offshore wind farms (of which NnG is one) in the Firths of Forth and Tay is still pending a final appeal by Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse against a Court of Session ruling that Mainstream failed to fully consider the potential adverse impact of the wind farm on bird life. (see link, below)

The Mainstream spokesman added: “We continue to work with the relevant bodies to ensure that the project has a viable unencumbered consent to allow for financial close in 2018.”

Mainstream now anticipates the development will achieve financial close in 2018 with first commercial supply of electricity occurring in 2021.

Mainstream continues to progress discussions with a number of interested parties (including international equity investors, commercial banks, the European Investment Bank and Export Credit Agencies) to provide the funding to take the wind farm to financial close and into construction.

A Mainstream spokesman said: “Neart na Gaoithe will generate the cheapest electricity from any offshore wind farm in the UK.

“Several PPA offers have been received and are under negotiation for the full output of the plant and for the full duration of the CfD contract. The project’s CfD strike price of £114.39 (in 2012 prices) is currently the lowest in the UK and between 18% and 26% below the FID enabling CFD contracts previously awarded.”

When fully operational, Neart na Gaoithe will generate enough electricity to power over 325,000 households. This is equivalent to the domestic electricity needs of its second-closest city, Edinburgh.

The NnG site will be approximately 80 square kilometres, with the turbines sited in shallow water depths of around 45-yards, about 10-15 miles off the Fife and Angus coastline at its nearest to shore.

  • Neart na Gaoithe is Gaelic for “Strength of the Wind”.

See also:

Frustrated Mainstream and Siemens call on Scot-Govt to fix foiled application for mammoth offshore windfarm

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