The EDF Group is announcing the construction of the Scottish Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm project and the new partnership with the Irish electricity company ESB which is taking a 50% stake in the project. The 450 MW NnG project confirms a wider commitment to renewables in the United Kingdom where EDF already has a strong footprint.
Neart na Gaoithe1 will consist of 54 turbines and will be located in the North Sea approximately, 15km off the coast of Fife in south-east Scotland. When fully operational, the NnG offshore wind farm will generate the equivalent electricity to power over 375,000 households each year, which corresponds to 4% of Scotland’s electricity consumption. This fully consented offshore wind project has a 15 year Contract for Difference (CfD) at £114.39/MWh in 2012 pound sterling, and grid connection agreements in place.
1 Gaelic for ‘strength of the wind’
With all of the financial agreements now in place, EDF Renewables is launching full construction of the project and can announce some of the tier one contractors. These include:
- Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) is the wind turbine generators supplier. It will provide the 8 MW turbine model ;
- Saipem is the turbine foundations supplier and installer ;
- GE Renewable Energy Grid Solutions will carry out the supply the two electrical substations, plus electrical design work ;
- Prysmian SRL will supply and install the export cables, both offshore and onshore ;
- Deme Offshore has won the contract for engineering, procuring, constructing and installing the inter-turbines cables with offshore installation;
- Fred Olsen Windcarrier will be delivering the transportation and installation of the turbines with offshore installation.
Construction of components is now underway, offshore construction will start in June 2020 and full commissioning will be complete in 2023.
NnG will contribute to the local Scottish economy providing new jobs and manufacturing opportunities. Some foundations jackets will be built by the Scottish engineering firm BiFab. The wind turbine generators will be assembled at the Port of Dundee. Eyemouth Harbour has been selected as preferred supplier to operate and service the wind farm over its 25-years lifetime. More precisely, this activity will create around 50 permanent jobs, located nearby the wind farm.
EDF Renewables is also announcing its partnership with the leading Irish energy company ESB that is taking a 50% stake in the project. This operation will result in the consolidation of the project by equity method. ESB operates across the electricity market on the island of Ireland, from generation, through transmission and distribution to the supply of customers with an expanding presence across Great Britain. In 2017, ESB opened an office in Scotland and is spearheading further development of renewable energy projects, in particular onshore and offshore wind.
The EDF Group, via its subsidiary EDF Renewables, is a significant global player in the offshore wind market with a 5 GW portfolio of projects under operations and development, including 103 MW of offshore wind farms already operational in the United Kingdom (Teesside with 62MW and Blyth with 41,5MW both in north-east England).
In total, the Group currently operates more than 13 GW of gross wind and solar capacity around the world, including nearly 1 GW in the United Kingdom, and in addition of the 23 GW of hydroelectricity. The NnG project is consistent with the CAP 2030 strategy which aims to double EDF’s renewable energy globally between 2015 and 2030 increasing to 50 GW.
Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group’s Senior Executive Vice President, Renewable Energies and Chairman and CEO of EDF Renewables said: ”These are two major milestones achieved by EDF Renewables demonstrating our strong capabilities in developing large offshore projects. We are pleased to get work underway with our new partner ESB and all Scottish companies and stakeholders involved. The 450 MW NnG project will play an important role in de- carbonising the UK electricity system.”
Simone Rossi, CEO of EDF Energy added: “The UK has committed to achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050 and the UN's latest emissions gap report underlines the need for urgent action. NNG is our largest offshore windfarm in the UK to date. We are determined to play our part in reducing the country's carbon emissions, while also generating jobs and economic opportunities for communities.“
Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB said: “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.”