Eni buys stake in Dogger Bank

Eni buys stake in Dogger Bank

Italian energy company Eni has entered into agreements to purchase 10% stake each from Equinor and SSE Renewables of the Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B wind farms.

Once the transaction is complete, the new overall shareholding in the two projects will be – SSE (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni (20%).

Under the agreements, Eni will pay a consideration of £202.5m, subject to adjustments for interest on closing, to both Equinor and SSE Renewables. The transaction is expected to close in early 2021, subject to regulatory and lenders approvals and customary purchase price adjustments.

“Dogger Bank is the largest wind farm in the world under construction, and we are pleased to welcome Eni as a new partner. 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. Together with our partners we will continue to drive the energy transition to a net zero emissions future for the UK,”
 commented Pål Eitrheim, Executive Vice President in New Energy Solutions in Equinor.

“For Eni, entering the offshore wind market in Northern Europe is a great opportunity to gain further skills in the sector thanks to the collaboration with two of the industry’s leading companies, and to make a substantial contribution to the 2025 target of 5 GW of installed capacity from renewables, an intermediate step towards the more ambitious target of zero net direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions in Europe by 2050,” 
says Claudio Descalzi, Chief Executive Officer of Eni.

Gregor Alexander, SSE’s Finance Director, said: “The sale of a stake in Dogger Bank Wind Farm to Eni is another successful example of SSE’s approach to partnering to create and secure value for shareholders. This transaction will enable us to fund further low carbon growth opportunities, helping to deliver governments’ net zero ambitions and our own target to treble our renewable output by 2030.”

The Dogger Bank wind farms are located more than 130 km from the Yorkshire coast. SSE Renewables is leading the construction of the wind farm, and Equinor will operate the project during its lifetime of at least 25 years. Further to Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, the two companies are also developing the Dogger Bank C project for which it is expected that a financial decision will come in late 2021. The projects will be capable of powering up to 4.5 UK million homes each year when complete in 2026.

Due to its size and scale, the overall wind farm is being built in three consecutive 1.2 GW phases. Each project is expected to generate around 6 TWh of electricity annually. The Dogger Bank Wind Farm secured 3.6 GW of offshore wind contracts in the UK government’s 2019 Contracts for Difference (CfD) auctions. The CfDs awarded provide overall price certainty to each phase of the Dogger Bank project for a period of 15 years.

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UK doubles down on renewables with 12 GW Contracts For Difference Round Four (CfD4)

UK doubles down on renewables with 12 GW Contracts For Difference Round Four (CfD4)

UK Energy Ministry BEIS will allocate supports for up to 12 GW of new renewables projects at its Contracts for Difference Round Four (CfD4) auction which will open late next year.

The round will feature three pots for different technologies, which will all compete for 15-year government subsidies. The 12 GW capacity is over twice as large as 2019’s 5.8GW CfD3.

  • Offshore wind will have its own standalone ‘Pot 3’, in line with plans mooted during consultations on the round earlier this year.
  • ‘Pot 1’ will comprise established technologies including onshore wind and solar – marking the first time since 2015 these two technologies can bid for supports.

Scottish Renewables policy director Morag Wilson said the association welcomed the CfD scheme and its inclusion of onshore wind and the dedicated pot for offshore wind and support for innovative technologies such as floating wind.

Wilson added: “However, differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK need to be accounted for in all areas to ensure there is a level playing field for Scottish projects, particularly the disproportionate impact transmission charging costs pose for Scottish projects.

“Not addressing these disadvantages will hamper progress towards a geographically diverse energy system and reaching the level of deployment needed to achieve net zero.”

Solar Trade Association chief executive Chris Hewett said: “Today’s announcement opens the door to significant numbers of subsidy-free solar projects being developed over the next few years.

“Many responses, including our own, highlighted the merit of having more frequent auctions, and this is something that the Government must implement if it is to maximise the economic and climate potential of renewables.

“Large solar projects can be deployed rapidly, offering a swift, job intensive contribution to a green economic recovery.”

  • Next year’s auction will also be the first time floating offshore wind can compete.
  • Floating projects will be placed in a ‘Pot 2’ for less established technologies alongside Advanced Conversion Technologies and tidal stream.

Former coal stations converted to biomass generation will be excluded from the round.

“The UK is a world leader in clean energy, with over a third of our electricity now coming from renewables,” said UK Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng.

“That huge achievement is thanks to the government’s Contracts for Difference scheme.”

Kwarteng said CfD4 will build on the ‘Ten Point Plan’ for a low-carbon future that was outlined by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week.

“The new plans…put us firmly on the path towards building a new, green industrial revolution,” he said.

The Government will meanwhile launch a fresh consultation on new proposals for the supply chain plan mechanism in a bid to boost local content levels.

The proposals are designed to increase the clarity, ambition and measurability of commitments made by renewable project developers when they bid for contracts in the CfD scheme, and to introduce new measures if they subsequently fail to deliver on those commitments.

“Next year’s renewable power auctions can unlock over £20bn of new investment in the economy and secure an unprecedented amount of low cost, clean electricity for consumers using the full range of renewable technologies we have available,” said RenewableUK chief executive Hugh McNeal.

McNeal welcomed the round’s inclusion of onshore wind.

“As one of our lowest cost, large scale power options, onshore wind has a vital role to play in meeting the challenge of net zero and the re-opening of CfD auctions is an important step to ramp up investment in this key technology,” he said.

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Onshore work starts for 3.6 GW Dogger Bank

Onshore work starts for 3.6 GW Dogger Bank

Subcontractor Jones Bros Civil Engineering has begun the first section of earthworks for the converter stations for the 3.6 GW Dogger Bank offshore wind farm.

The converter stations, south of Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire, will receive an AC current via the cables from the wind turbines and convert it to a DC current before sending it to the National Grid.

Jones Bros has also started ducting activities on the high voltage DC cable route from Ulrome to Beverley for the Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B projects.

Dogger Bank will be located more than 130km off the Yorkshire coast in the North Sea and is being developed in three 1.2GW phases by joint venture partners SSE Renewables and Equinor.

The project is the first wind farm in the world to use HVDC technology, due to its distance from shore.

The HVDC route comprises of 30km of ducting with trenches totalling 120km for ducting and cables.

Horizontal directional drilling is also taking place to install the cabling ducting beneath existing structures, including roads, railways, canals, common land and rivers with minimal disruption.

Jones Bros is also continuing to build access tracks, with 13km in place since the civil engineering contractor started on site earlier in the year.

The full works are expected to take two and a half years to complete. Jones Bros contracts director Garod Evans said: “We have more than 30 horizontal drills to carry out, which includes building a drilling pit to allow our supply chain partner Johnston Trenchless Solutions, also UK based, to operate.

“The horizontal drilling method will be used on multiple roads, canals, a river and a railway line to avoid unnecessary disruption.

“The team are also carrying out earthworks and drainage ahead of the installation of the convertor station platform where the cables will run to.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farm project manager Ollie Flattery said: “Jones Brothers have done a fantastic job getting project construction underway in such challenging circumstances, whilst ensuring those working on site, as well as the community in which they are operating are kept safe.

“We look forward to continuing working with Jones Brothers on the project in the months ahead as we develop the innovative infrastructure needed to provide clean energy for millions of UK households.”

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Government £12bn green recovery 10 point plan

Government £12bn green recovery 10 point plan

Ten-point £12bn Green Recovery economic spending plan announced by Boris Johnson.

Slowly but surely humanity is taking the upper hand in the fight against the virus. We have not won yet. There are still hard weeks and months to come. But with better drugs, testing and a range of vaccines, we know in our hearts that next year we will succeed. We will use science to rout the virus, and we must use the same extraordinary powers of invention to repair the economic damage from Covid-19, and to build back better.

Now is the time to plan for a green recovery with high-skilled jobs that give people the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to make the country cleaner, greener and more beautiful. Imagine Britain when a Green Industrial Revolution has helped to level up the country.

You cook breakfast using hydrogen power before getting in your electric car, having charged it overnight from batteries made in the Midlands. Around you the air is cleaner; trucks, trains, ships and planes run on hydrogen or synthetic fuel. British towns and regions — Teesside, Port Talbot, Port of Tyne, Merseyside and Mansfield — are now synonymous with green technology and jobs. This is where Britain’s ability to make hydrogen and capture carbon pioneered the decarbonisation of transport, industry and power.

My 10-point plan to get there will mobilise £12bn of government investment, and potentially three times as much from the private sector, to create and support up to 250,000 green jobs.

There will be electric vehicle technicians in the Midlands, construction and installation workers in the North East and Wales, specialists in advanced fuels in the North West, agroforestry practitioners in Scotland, and grid system installers everywhere. And we will help people train for these new green jobs through our Lifetime Skills Guarantee. Climate Capital Where climate change meets business, markets and politics.

This 10-point plan will turn the UK into the world’s number one centre for green technology and finance, creating the foundations for decades of economic growth.

One — we will make the UK the Saudi Arabia of wind with enough offshore capacity to power every home by 2030.

Two — we will turn water into energy with up to £500m of investment in hydrogen.

Three — we will take forward our plans for new nuclear power, from large scale to small and advanced modular reactors.

Four — we’ll invest more than £2.8bn in electric vehicles, lacing the land with charging points and creating long-lasting batteries in UK gigafactories. This will allow us to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2030. However, we will allow the sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe until 2035.

Five — we will have cleaner public transport, including thousands of green buses and hundreds of miles of new cycle lanes.

Six — we will strive to repeat the feat of Jack Alcock and Teddie Brown, who achieved the first nonstop transatlantic flight a century ago, with a zero emission plane. And we will do the same with ships.

Seven — we will invest £1bn next year to make homes, schools and hospitals greener, and energy bills lower.

Eight — we will establish a new world-leading industry in carbon capture and storage, backed by £1bn of government investment for clusters across the North, Wales and Scotland.

Nine — we will harness nature’s ability to absorb carbon by planting 30,000 hectares of trees a year by 2025 and rewilding 30,000 football pitches’ worth of countryside.

And ten — our £1bn energy innovation fund will help commercialise new low-carbon technologies, like the world’s first liquid air battery being developed in Trafford, and we will make the City of London the global centre for green finance through our sovereign bond, carbon offset markets and disclosure requirements.

This plan can be a global template for delivering net zero emissions in ways that create jobs and preserve our lifestyles.

On Wednesday I will meet UK businesses to discuss their contribution. We plan to provide clear timetables for the clean energy we will procure, details of the regulations we will change, and the carbon prices that we will put on emissions. I will establish a “task force net zero” committed to reaching net zero by 2050, and through next year’s COP26 summit we will urge countries and companies around the world to join us in delivering net zero globally. Green and growth can go hand-in-hand. So let us meet the most enduring threat to our planet with one of the most innovative and ambitious programmes of job-creation we have known.

Words by Prime Minister Boris Johnson

 

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GE wraps up Haliade-X certification with DNV GL

GE wraps up Haliade-X certification with DNV GL

GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X 13 MW prototype, the world’s most powerful wind turbine in operation, has received a full type certificate from DNV GL.

This full type certification, which follows a provisional type certification announced in June, provides independent verification that the new turbines will operate safely, reliably and according to design specifications.

Full type certification is a “key step” in enabling customers to obtain financing when purchasing the turbines.

Certifying the Haliade-X involved a series of tests on a 12 MW prototype located in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, plus tests of the turbine’s 107 metre blades at the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult centre in Blyth, UK, and the Massachusetts Wind Technology Testing Center in Boston, US.

GE Renewable Energy offshore wind chief technology officer Vincent Schellings said: “This is a key milestone for us as it gives our customers the ability to obtain financing when purchasing the Haliade-X.

“Our continued goal is to provide them the technology they need to drive the global growth of offshore wind as it becomes an ever more affordable and reliable source of renewable energy.”

“At DNV GL we predict that offshore wind will generate almost 9% of electricity globally by 2050.

One GE Haliade-X 12 MW offshore wind turbine can generate up to 67 gigawatt-hours of gross annual energy production, providing enough clean energy to power 16,000 European households.

The Haliade-X has been selected as the preferred wind turbine for the 120 MW Skipjack and 1100 MW Ocean Wind projects in the US.

GE Renewable Energy recently announced that the prototype has been optimised and is now operating at a 13 MW power output.

Testing will continue and the company said it expects to obtain a type certificate for the Haliade-X at 13 MW in the first half of 2021.

The Haliade-X 13MW offshore wind turbine will be used in the first two phases of UK’s Dogger Bank offshore wind farm, with a total of 190 units to be installed starting in 2023.

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Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm plans with 240 turbines revealed

Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm plans with 240 turbines revealed

ONE of the world’s largest offshore wind farms” could be created off East Lothian’s coast, containing nearly 250 wind turbines which could power every home in Scotland.

Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm would be created more than 50 kilometres off the county coastline in the Firth of Forth.

If consented and brought forward for development, the SSE Renewables scheme would, it is claimed, see 242 turbines capable of generating enough renewable energy for more than all the homes in Scotland.

It could power 3.5 million homes each year and reduce carbon emissions by four million tonnes annually, helping power Scotland’s push towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2045.

Louise Davis, consents team manager for Berwick Bank Wind Farm, said: “Today, we’re unveiling plans for our new Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm, which could have an installed capacity of up to 2.3GW, making it one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms if constructed.

“The proposed development would be capable of powering 3.5 million homes with renewable energy each year, more than all the homes in Scotland, and cutting the country’s annual carbon emissions by around four million tonnes, equivalent to removing two thirds of all cars from Scottish roads.

“In this way, Berwick Bank would help make a major impact on meeting the country’s net-zero carbon emissions target by 2045.”

The project is being developed by SSE Renewables, alongside plans for its neighbouring Marr Bank Offshore Wind Farm project.

The two projects have different timescales, with a public consultation and exhibition focusing on Berwick Bank getting under way next week.

If consented for development, Berwick Bank would represent a multi-billion-pound investment opportunity for SSE Renewables to help power forward Scotland’s climate action ambitions.

As the project progresses, SSE Renewables will host ‘Meet the Developer’ events to outline opportunities for the local economy.

A public consultation gets under way on Monday and runs through until December 7.

During the three-week consultation, details will be shared online and there will also be four live internet question and answer sessions taking place between November 23 and 26.

For more information, go to sserenewables.com/berwickbank

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