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.
Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA) has begun construction on the $220M Lindahl wind project in North Dakota, USA.Upon completion, the 150MW wind farm — owned by EGPNA’s subsidiary Lindahl Wind Project — will be able to generate about 625GWh annually, the equivalent to the energy consumption needs of more than 50,000 US households. It will also eliminate about 450,000t of CO2 emissions each year.The power generated from the Lindahl wind project will be sold under a bundled, long-term power purchase agreement to Basin Electric Power Cooperative. Rafael Gonzalez, head of North America area for Enel’s Global Renewable Energies Division, said: “Lindahl underlines the strength of Enel’s growth strategy in North America.“The new wind farm also marks the group’s entrance into a new state, North Dakota, further broadening our geographical footprint in the United States.”The wind farm is scheduled to be operational in 2017.
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.”
Mainstream Renewable Power has received an approval from the Service of Environmental Assessment for its 264MW Cerro Tigre wind farm in Chile.Located close to the town of Antofagasta in north Chile, the $630M project will include 80 wind turbines in an area of 1,131ha and will be connected to the northern grid. Mainstream Renewable Power Chile’s CEO Bart Doyle said: “This work will contribute to the development of a diversified, clean and reliable energy mix which will provide an efficient solution to the country and the people of this region.“We are a company that develops its own projects and we are always looking for new opportunities for solar and wind energy developments, and the region of Antofagasta has important attributes that enable this.”The company will also commence construction of two wind farms in Chile: the Sarco wind farm which is located in Atacama, and the Aurora wind farm, located in the region of Los Lagos.With a combined generation capacity of 300MW, the two wind farms will provide power to the Central Interconnected System.
E.ON has entered into an equal stake partnership with Norwegian energy firm Statoil to build the €1.2bn Arkona offshore wind farm.
Enel Green Power Brasil Participações (EGPB) has begun construction on Cristalândia wind farm in Bahia, Brazil.Located in the municipalities of Brumado, Rio de Contas and Dom Basilio, the $190m project will have a total installed capacity of 90MW, and is expected to commence operations in the second half of 2017. Upon completion, the wind farm will produce over 350GWh annually, which is enough to power more than 170,000 Brazilian households. It will also reduce carbon emissions by about 118,000 tonnes.The wind farm has been awarded to EGPB, a subsidiary of Enel, through the Leilão de Fontes Alternativas (LFA) — a public renewable energy auction — in April 2015.
MidAmerican Energy Company has filed a request with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to build the $3.6bn Wind XI, which would be the largest wind generation project that the company has ever undertaken.The company will scout for final locations for its Wind XI development while the IUB considers the project filing request. Wind XI is expected to add up to 2,000MW of wind power capacity in Iowa.The project will generate approximately $12.5m per year in property tax payments, $18m per year in landowner payments, and $48m per year in state and local expenditures associated with the project.The company has requested IUB to sanction its rate-making principles by September 2016 so it can take full advantage of the extended production tax credit available for the construction of new wind projects.MidAmerican Energy CEO and president Bill Fehrman said: “Once the project is complete, we will generate wind energy equal to 85% of our annual customer sales in Iowa, bringing us within striking distance of our 100% renewable vision.”
Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA), a subsidiary of Enel, has begun construction on the Cimarron Bend wind farm in the US, which will entail an investment of about $610m.Located in Clark County, Kansas, the wind farm will be owned by Cimarron Bend Wind Project, a subsidiary of EGPNA. When completed, Cimarron Bend will have a total installed capacity of 400MW and will be able to generate around 1.8TWh annually, which will be sufficient to cater to the annual consumption needs of more than 149,000 US households. It will also prevent the emission of around 1.3m tonnes of CO2 each year.The power and renewable energy credits from Cimarron Bend will be sold under two 200MW bundled, long-term power purchase agreements with Google and Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) respectively. The project is slated to begin operations by 2017. It is financed through the Enel Group's own resources.Enel Green Power head Francesco Venturini said: "This project marks a major milestone for Enel, as not only will Cimarron Bend be the largest asset in our portfolio, but it also opens our renewable energy to new partners and uses."As we continue to invest and grow in the US we aim to cooperate with companies and partners that share the same vision for a more sustainable future."
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.”
A consortium of Enel Green Power (EGP), Moroccan energy firm Nareva Holding (Nareva) and Siemens Wind Power has been pre-awarded a contract to design, construct, develop, finance, operate and maintain five wind projects in Morocco.The wind projects, awarded by Moroccan utility ONEE, will have a total capacity of 850MW. Construction on the projects is estimated to entail a total investment of about €1bn, which will be mostly financed through project finance facilities.Three wind farms, including the 150MW Midelt, 100MW Tanger, and 200MW Jbel Lahdid will be built in northern Morocco. The remaining two facilities, the 300MW Tiskrad and the 100MW Boujdour, will be constructed in southern Morocco.EGP and Nareva will set up and own five special purpose vehicles holding the projects. Siemens Wind Power will offer the wind turbines, with several components manufactured locally.The wind farms are expected to be completed and become operational between 2017 and 2020. Energy produced by the facilities will be sold to ONEE under 20-year power purchase deals. EGP CEO Francesco Venturini said: “We are leveraging on our knowledge and expertise, in collaboration with our partners, to contribute to Morocco’s ambitious energy plan that has renewables at its core. “The country is an example in North Africa of reliability and transparency in supporting the development of renewable technologies.”
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.