The world’s largest offshore wind park is a step closer to reality, after SSE Plc and Equinor ASA agreed to financing terms as part of a joint venture.
Both firms are set to invest in the Dogger Bank project, which is to be constructed off the east coast of England. The project comprises three phases, each providing 1.2GW of power from skyscraper-sized turbines, and upon completion make up the world’s largest offshore wind park.
The first two phases of the project will cost around £6 billion according to SSE, with hundreds of UK jobs having already been created to support the early stages of planning and construction. A third phase has yet to secure financing, but all three phases are expected to be complete by March 2026.
“Reaching financial close on the two first phases of Dogger Bank is a major milestone, demonstrating our commitment to profitable growth within offshore wind. The extensive interest from lenders underpins the attractiveness of UK offshore wind assets and confidence in SSE and Equinor,” said Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s executive vice president of New Energy Solutions.
”As the wind farm’s future operator, we are proud to take this big step forward in delivering what will be the backbone of a growing wind hub in the North Sea.”
Alistair Philips-Davies, SSE’s chief executive officer, added, “We are putting our money where our mouth is on delivering net zero and reinforcing the U.K.’s position as a world leader.”
How very attractive
It’s unsurprising to see the UK receive such a large investment in offshore wind generating capacity, after all the UK is leading the world when it comes to offshore wind. However, the country as a whole has become more attractive to investors looking to splash the cash on renewable energy, culminating in the UK reaching fifth place in EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI).
Boris Johnson has pinned his premiership on being bullish on building a green economy and the transition to net zero emissions by 2050 is gathering pace in the UK. Dogger Bank for its part will help considerably, eventually providing 5% of the UK’s electricity demand once fully operational.
The total production at Dogger Bank, which will reach 3.6GW once fully completed, won’t satisfy Johnson’s demands, however. His Government is aiming to have 40GW of offshore wind capacity online by 2030, quadrupling what is currently available. That could mean that Dogger Bank doesn’t remain the world’s largest offshore wind park for very long.