ESB has today announced that it is taking a 50 percent stake in the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm project from EDF Renewables.
NnG has a capacity of c. 450 megawatts of low carbon energy and will offset over 400,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. Construction of components is now underway, offshore construction will start in June 2020 and full commissioning will complete in 2023.
The announcement coincides with confirmation from EDF Renewables that financial close for the project has been achieved. Twenty-five banks are lending money to fund the wind farm which will supply enough low carbon electricity for around 375,000 homes.*
Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB, says that the significant acquisition represents another key milestone in the company’s investment in offshore wind. “Our 50 percent stake in Neart na Gaoithe fits entirely with ESB’s Brighter Future strategy to build a balanced low carbon generation portfolio of scale. Offshore wind is one of the main technologies underpinning the clean electricity systems that will power our societies into the future. This investment in the Neart na Gaoithe project builds on significant ESB involvement in offshore wind off the Irish coast as ESB develops its experience to assist Ireland deliver its Climate Action Plan. We look forward to pooling our expertise with EDF Renewables in delivering this major project.”
EDF Renewables CEO Matthieu Hue adds, “This is a hugely important step for the project and we are excited to get work underway with our equity partner ESB and all of our contractors. The wind farm will play an important role in de-carbonising the UK electricity system to reach the country’s net zero targets. It is evidence of our continuing investment and growth in Scotland and it shows the ability of EDF in the UK to provide diverse solutions for electricity consumers in terms of low cost renewable electricity.”
A wider EDF Renewables press release is available here.
* Based upon the average domestic electricity consumption per home of 3,889 kWh per the Energy Consumption in the UK (published July 2017) and Renewable-UK offshore wind average load factor at 37.2 percent