The European Investment Bank (EIB) has offered a £525M loan for the construction of the £2.7bn Beatrice wind farm off the coast of Scotland, UK.The EIB loan, partly guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, will have tenure of 19 years.To be constructed 14km off the Caithness coast, the 86-turbine wind farm will produce up to 588MW of electricity, enough to meet the energy needs of over 475,000 homes.The wind farm will use Siemens 7MW wind turbines with 154m diameter rotor blades. EIB’s vice president Jonathan Taylor said: “We are pleased to provide £525M to support construction of the Beatrice wind farm that will strengthen renewable energy generation in Scotland. This also represents the first Scottish scheme to be backed by the new European Fund for Strategic Investments.“EIB backing for energy investment across the UK demonstrates our firm commitment to supporting ambitious energy projects that create jobs and benefit local companies.”
Subsea 7 and Seaway Heavy Lifting have secured an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for the Beatrice wind farm turbine foundations and array cables in Scotland.The scope of the $1.3bn contract,awarded by Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited, will also involve the transport and installation of transmission modules for the offshore wind farm.The project’s management and engineering has already commenced at Subsea 7’s office in Aberdeen, Scotland and at Seaway Heavy Lifting’s offices in Glasgow, Scotland, and Zoetermeer, the Netherlands.Offshore installation activities will take place in 2017 and 2018 using seaway Heavy Lifting’s heavy-lift vessels, Stanislav Yudin and Oleg Strashnov.Subsea 7 CEO Jean Cahuzac said: “This offshore wind farm project is our largest North Sea award to date. Subsea 7 and Seaway Heavy Lifting have a strong reputation in their respective areas of expertise.“This contract recognises both companies’ capability to execute contracts safely, on time and within cost targets and is another major step forward in establishing Seaway Heavy Lifting as a leading EPCI contractor in the offshore renewables market.”When fully operational in 2019, the wind farm will produce 588MW of power.
Germany-based KfW IPEX-Bank is providing a loan worth €104M to the French energy provider Neoen to support the construction of energy projects in France.The projects include a 30MWp photovoltaic (PV) facility and two wind farms with a total capacity of 46MWp.German manufacturer SolarWorld is providing the modules for the PV plant, which is being built in the Tarn department in southwestern France, while German wind farm manufacturer Enercon and the Danish company Vestas are supplying the equipment to the Bussy Lettrée and Raucourt II wind projects in northeastern France. Neoen corporate finance director Charlie Canevet said: “We are happy to be working with KfW IPEX-Bank again on our new projects in France. For our global activities in the field of renewable energies, we partner with dependable banks with proven structuring expertise.”The plant will be completed soon and the two wind farms are expected to be operational by the end of 2016.
The 402MW Dudgeon Offshore Wind Project has secured £1.3bn of project financing.The wind farm, located 32km from the coast of North Norfolk, UK, is being developed by Statoil (35%), Abu Dhabi-based Masdar (35%), and Statkraft (30%). Allen & Overy, a UK-based law firm, is advising the Mandated Lead Arrangers on the long-term financing, which will fund the capital requirements of the wind farm.Statkraft and Statoil are also participating in the financing through sponsor co-lending, Statkraft will finance its 30% share in the project, while Statoil will finance a share of 17.5%.Chris Andrew, lead Allen & Overy partner on the deal said: “This is a landmark transaction as it’s the first UK offshore wind project to obtain financing under the UK government’s new ‘Contract for Difference’ regime.“Detailed preparatory work meant financing on this project was nevertheless executed very quickly.”
Wind farm infrastructure and communications delivery specialist Vysiion has secured a contract to support the installation of a 108km fibre link for the £1.3bn Rampion wind farm development.UK-based construction services firm Carillion is serving as the main contractor for the onshore connection, a project that will include the installation of cable over a distance of about 26km from landfall near Shoreham-on-Sea to Bolney, West Sussex.Under the contract, Vysiion will support Carillion’s delivery and will supply splice and test the 108km cable link from the onshore substation at Bolney to the beachhead.The wind farm is expected to provide enough energy to power about 300,000 homes annually, with a target capacity of 400MW. Vysiion infrastructure sales manager Michael Grimshaw said: “The Rampion wind farm project contract is another example of how the team at Vysiion is able to support the infrastructure requirements of the UK’s wind power industry.“Throughout the UK and on a number of on-going wind farm developments Vysiion’s fibre, communications and infrastructure expertise is proving to be both an additive and assured element of the construction.”
Construction firm Morgan Sindall has commenced construction work on a £70m project to transform Lambeth’s Town Hall and civic buildings in the UK. Morgan Sindall’s scope of the work will include the refurbishment of the Grade II listed Brixton Town Hall to create a more open and accessible building for residents and local businesses.The project also involves the demolition of some buildings to the rear, reinstatement of the original atrium with a new roof, and the installation of new lifts, doors and windows.Further, it will include basement modifications to offer new office space and upgraded community facilities.In addition, a new energy efficient civic facility is being built with a customer centre and council offices. The new six-storey building will offer 11,000 sq ft of office space.Morgan Sindall is also improving Buckner Road and Porden Road to ease traffic congestion.The work on the project is set to be completed in 2018.
E.ON has entered into an equal stake partnership with Norwegian energy firm Statoil to build the €1.2bn Arkona offshore wind farm.
Facebook has started construction of a EUR200m ($227.9m) data centre in Clonee village in County Meath, Ireland.The 621,000 sq ft Clonee facility will be Facebook’s first in Ireland and second in Europe, and sixth across the globe. The facility will be a central part of Facebook's global infrastructure allowing customers to connect with each other.Facebook has signed a long-term renewable energy supply agreement with Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners to supply 100% renewable wind energy to the Clonee facility. The agreement is in line with the company’s plan to reach the goal of powering 50% of its infrastructure with clean and renewable energy by the end of 2018.The data centre is scheduled to be operational by late 2017 or early 2018. It is expected to create 2,000 jobs during the construction phase and around 150 longer-term jobs.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is set to offer £500m to improve the power transmission network in Scotland.The project will include a 1,200MW subsea cable between Spittal in Caithness and Blackhillock in Moray. It aims to upgrade connections between wind, wave and tidal renewable energy schemes and the national power network. Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SSE, is building the project, which is due for completion in 2018. The company is investing over £1.1bn in the project.Once operational, the new link is expected to supply equivalent electricity to meet the needs of about 2m Scottish residents. The project is anticipated to create 600 construction jobs.EIB vice president Jonathan Taylor said: “Our strong partnership with SSE over many years demonstrates our firm commitment to support ambitious energy investment that creates jobs and benefits local companies.”
National markets across Europe are responding to current market conditions in varying ways. The team of analysts at Timetric's Construction Intelligence Center examine the current trends across the continent.
A joint venture led by Norwegian state-owned utility Statkraft has announced plans to invest about €1.1bn in Europe's largest onshore wind power project in central Norway.
ScottishPower Renewables is set to invest £2.5bn on its East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm project in the UK.
One critically important, but perhaps under discussed, area of the Northern Powerhouse is energy. In particular, where will it be generated, what technologies will be used now and in the future and how will it be decarbonised? And most importantly, how will it be distributed effectively and efficiently across the Northern Powerhouse. Paul Yates at Atkins Group discusses.