Iberian Energy Giants Reaffirm UK Offshore Wind Investment Commitments

  • Oct 19, 2021
  • Offshore Wind

Spanish renewable energy major Iberdrola and its Portuguese counterpart EDP have reaffirmed their investment plans for offshore wind projects in the UK, as well as other renewable energy and energy transition initiatives in the country.

Iberdrola has confirmed its intent to invest GBP 6 billion in the 3.1 GW East Anglia Hub offshore wind complex through its UK arm ScottishPower Renewables, subject to securing planning consent and a Contract for Difference (CfD). The Spanish company’s UK investment plan also includes spending GBP 10 billion on doubling its renewable capacity and driving decarbonisation by 2025.

Iberdrola confirmed its commitment in the UK at the Global Investment Summit held on 19 October ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, where the UK Prime Minister announced GBP 9.7 billion of new foreign investment through 18 deals that will support growth in vital sectors and create almost 30,000 jobs.

On the eve of the UK’s Global Investment Summit (18 October), EDP announced that it planned to invest GBP 12.86 billion in the UK over the coming years, with an additional investment of GBP 2.2 billion planned for the Moray West offshore wind farm over the three to four years after it is completed. This is on top of the already secured investment of GBP 2.65 billion in the Moray East and Moray West projects, owned by Ocean Winds, a 50/50 joint venture between EDPR and ENGIE.

EDP also said that its minimum target of 3.9 GW in the ScotWind leasing round equals to a capex of up to GBP 10 billion.

The remaining GBP 660 million are set to be invested through entry into the UK onshore renewable energy market via a portfolio of 544 MW of onshore wind and solar energy.

Iberdrola’s UK offshore wind complex, East Anglia Hub, is made up of the East Anglia ONE North, TWO, and THREE offshore wind farms and will produce a total of 3.1 GW, making it among the world’s largest offshore wind farms.

The wind farm will comprise more than 200 Siemens Gamesa 14+ MW offshore wind turbines installed in water depths greater than 50 metres. Construction of the East Anglia Hub is expected to begin in 2023 with completion in 2026.

This will be Iberdrola’s biggest offshore wind development anywhere in the world and is said to be able to supply enough clean electricity to power 2.7 million British homes.

The company is also bidding in Scotland’s latest seabed leasing round through ScottishPower Renewables and together with Shell, with the two partners proposing to develop the world’s first large-scale floating offshore wind farms in the north-east of Scotland.

EDP, whose soon-to-be-operational 950 MW Moray East is Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm, plans to start building the Moray West project in 2022.

The company, in the Ocean Winds joint venture, plans to bid for development right for the 900 MW project in the next CfD round, scheduled for early 2022. The project is currently in the supply chain contract negotiation phase and Ocean Winds has already managed to secure a preferential bidding agreement with a leading turbine supplier, EDP said.

Ocean Winds is also waiting to learn of the result of the offshore wind leasing round in Scotland, where it has submitted bids for up to 9 GW of capacity. The proposals involve both fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind projects, with the company targeting a minimum of 3.9 GW.

For the floating wind bids, Ocean Winds partnered with Aker Offshore Wind, which recently outlined plans to utilise underwater substations as part of the floating offshore wind projects in Scotland.