Norwegian energy company Equinor and Irish renewable energy developer SSE Renewables have reached financial close on the first two phases of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm which, upon completion in 2026, will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm at 3.6GW.
The two companies, 50/50 owners in the Dogger Bank Wind Farm joint venture, say they have reached financial close on the first two 1.2GW phases of the project, a decision which represents in aggregate the largest offshore wind project financing to date globally.
Set to be located off the north east coast of England, the Dogger Bank Wind Farm will consist of three 1.2GW phases able to generate approximately 6,000GWh annually.
When all three phases are completed, expected for March 2026, Dogger Bank Wind Farm will boast final capacity of 3.6GW and will produce enough electricity to supply 5% of the United Kingdom’s total power demand – equivalent to powering six million UK homes each year.
Total capital expenditure for Dogger Bank A and B is estimated to be around £6 billion ($AU10.9 billion), while Dogger Bank C is being developed along a different timescale and will, therefore, see financial close taken at a later date.
Total senior debt facilities of £4.8 billion were secured for the two phases of the project, plus ancillary facilities of around £700 million, thanks to strong interest from lenders despite the economic uncertainty created by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“Reaching financial close on the two first phases of Dogger Bank is a major milestone, demonstrating our commitment to profitable growth within offshore wind,” said Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s executive vice president of New Energy Solutions.
The financial close of Dogger Bank A and B marks a milestone for Equinor, announced as it was less than a month after the company revealed its plans to become a net-zero energy company by 2050. Equinor’s net-zero plans include an ambition to become a global offshore wind major and is setting its sights on increasing its total installed offshore wind capacity to between 12GW and 16GW by 2035.
Already the company boasts three offshore wind farms in the UK, including the world’s first floating offshore wind farm in Scotland, and generates enough renewable electricity from its German wind farms to power more than one million European homes.
The company is aiming to build material offshore wind clusters in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the North East of the United States. Empire Wind, the company’s first offshore wind project outside of Europe, is planned to be built off the coast of New York and could potentially boast a nameplate capacity of 2GW.
“Equinor is committed to being a leading company in the energy transition and to helping the UK Government deliver on its 10-point plan for a green industrial future,” said Eitrheim..
“Through the sheer scale of the project we have delivered record-low contract prices for the UK market, and as operator of the wind farm we will continue to deliver value to the UK for years to come.”
SSE Renewables is also developing the 1,075MW Seagreen 1 offshore wind farm, set to be Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm, and the 443MW onshore Viking wind farm, which is expected to be the UK’s most productive onshore wind farm, located on the remote Shetland Island.
“We are proud to be leading on the construction and development of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which has been 10 years in the making,” said Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE Chief Executive.
“We are putting our money where our mouth is on delivering net zero and reinforcing the UK’s position as a world leader. This investment will help drive a green recovery from coronavirus through the project’s construction over the next five years, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.