- RWE Innogy acquires 50% share of Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm
- Construction of around 500 MW planned overall
- Beginning of first electricity production is scheduled for 2010
npower renewables, the UK fully owned subsidiary of RWE Innogy, has acquired 50% of the equity in Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Limited (GGOWL) from Scottish and Southern Energy plc (SSE). The development of Greater Gabbard, excluding the connection to the electricity grid, is expected to require investment of around £1.3 billion.
Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, Chief Executive Officer of RWE Innogy, said: “This acquisition is a perfect addition to our existing offshore wind portfolio, and is also an important step towards reaching RWE Innogy´s goal of increasing its renewables production capacity to 4,500 MW by 2012.”
GGOWL has all the necessary consents to progress the construction and operation of the wind farm, which when completed, will have a total capacity of around 500 megawatts. The site, which is located 25 kilometres off the coast of Suffolk, will comprise 140 wind turbines installed in water depths of between 24 and 34 metres. npower renewables and SSE will share the electricity output 50-50. Onshore construction work for Greater Gabbard is underway and offshore work is scheduled to begin mid-2009. The wind farm will be commissioned in two phases, with the construction work scheduled to be totally completed in 2011, and first export of electricity expected in 2010.
Paul Cowling, Managing Director of npower renewables, the UK subsidiary of RWE Innogy, said, "We look forward to working with SSE on the Greater Gabbard project, and in addition to our financial input, we are pleased to be able to offer our experience of developing, building and operating offshore wind farms in the UK.”
Ian Marchant, Chief Executive of SSE, said: “I am pleased that RWE Innogy will be our partner in this joint venture. Its long-standing interest and participation in offshore wind farm developments will complement our own expertise in the development of major renewable energy projects. Greater Gabbard is a major development in every sense, and its significance is underlined by RWE Innogy’s investment in it. Our priority is to make sure construction work proceeds in an efficient and timely manner, so that it can begin to play its important part in meeting the UK’s energy needs as soon as possible.”
RWE has already gained valuable experience with the existing 60 MW wind farm, North Hoyle, off the North Wales coast - the UK’s first major offshore wind farm. The company’s 90 MW Rhyl Flats Offshore Wind Farm, which is currently under construction, is expected to be fully operational in mid-2009. In addition, a consent determination is currently awaited on the 750 MW Gwynt y Môr project which would be one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world. In the Netherlands, the company is also applying for a license to develop 2,000 MW of offshore wind capacity, and off the German coast, too, RWE Innogy intends to play an active role in shaping the growth of the offshore wind sector.