The world's largest offshore wind farm financing contract valued at $ eight billion
The offices of the Norwegian energy major Equinor were photographed in February 2019. Alongside SSE, Equinor is part of a 50:50 joint venture to develop the Dogger Bank wind farm.
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A large offshore wind farm that is said to be the largest in the world took another leap forward on Thursday. SSE Renewables and Equinor announced they have signed a contract to fund the project.
When completed, the Dogger Bank wind farm in Great Britain – a 50:50 joint venture between the two companies – will have a total output of 3.6 gigawatts (GW).
The first two phases, Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, will be built simultaneously with a capacity of 1.2 GW each.
The third phase of the project, Dogger Bank C, is being developed on a different schedule, with a financial close expected in late 2021.
In a statement, SSE said the funding for the first two phases of the project represents "the world's largest offshore wind project funding ever". The investments for Dogger Banks A and B will be approximately £ 6 billion (approximately $ 8 billion).
According to the website of the Dogger Bank project, which is located in waters off the north-east coast of England, the final group of lenders consists of 29 banks and three export credit agencies. SSE Renewables will lead construction of the facility while Equinor will lead operations.
The scope of the overall plan, which should be completed in 2026, is considerable. Equinor and SSE have both named it "the world's largest offshore wind farm".
In phases A and B, GE's 13-megawatt Haliade X turbine will be used, while the total wind farm in the UK can supply up to 4.5 million households with electricity annually. Onshore construction work for the project began earlier this year.
Pål Eitrheim, Executive Vice President for New Energy Solutions at Equinor, said that reaching the financial close for the first two phases was "an important milestone".
Alistair Philips-Davies, chief executive of SSE, said the investment would "help drive an environmentally friendly recovery from coronavirus by building the project over the next five years, creating jobs and boosting the local economy".
Last month, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted the country to become "the world leader in low-cost, clean electricity."
At the Conservative Party's annual conference, which was held virtually, Johnson stressed the importance of renewable energy sources, especially offshore wind.
"We believe that in 10 years' time offshore wind will provide electricity to every home in the country, with our target increasing from 30 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts," he said.
"You heard me right: your kettle, your washing machine, your stove, your heater, your plug-in electric vehicle, the whole bunch of you will get their juice clean and guiltless from the breeze that blows around these islands." he added.
The promise to increase offshore wind capacity was included in the Conservative Party's manifesto for the 2019 general election.