World’s largest offshore wind farm moves step closer after clearing final key milestone

December 2, 2021

The world’s largest offshore wind farm has moved a step closer after passing the last important milestone for the project’s delivery.

Due to its size and scale, Dogger Bank is being built in three consecutive 1.2 gigawatt (GW) phases. When completed, the wind farm, located off the north east coast of England, will have the capacity to power some six million UK homes.

SSE Renewables, part of Scottish energy giant SSE, and Equinor are already constructing the first two phases of Dogger Bank with Eni, joint venture partner on phases A and B.

Located off the north east coast of England, Dogger Bank Wind Farm in the North Sea is being built in three phases and will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world when operational, with an overall capacity of some 3.6 gigawatts.

Now, with financial close being reached on the project’s third phase, the wind farm has passed the last key milestone ahead of its construction delivery programme.

Total investment will be around £9 billion, of which some £3bn is for phase C, including offshore transmission capital expenditure in the range of £900 million to £1bn.

Dogger Bank A and B is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40 per cent), Equinor (40 per cent) and Eni (20 per cent). At the start of last month, SSE and Equinor announced the sell down of a combined 20 per cent share in Dogger Bank C to Eni (10 per cent each) for a total consideration of £140m.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE chief executive, said: “It is a fantastic achievement to be reaching financial close on the third phase of the world’s largest offshore wind project, just weeks after COP26 concluded in Glasgow and today marks an important early milestone in the delivery of our own Net Zero Acceleration Programme.

“Our plans will enable delivery of over 25 per cent of the UK’s 2030 40 GW offshore wind target, whilst also expanding overseas, delivering over 20 per cent of upcoming UK electricity networks investment and deploying the critical flexibility technologies to provide security of supply.

“Construction is well underway on the first two phases of Dogger Bank with work on the third phase already progressing and we look forward to this ramping up in the new year.”

Pål Eitrheim of Equinor added: “Reaching financial close on the third phase of Dogger Bank is a significant milestone as it demonstrates that we are on track with developing what will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

“The extensive interest from lenders underpins the attractiveness of UK offshore wind assets and the confidence in SSE and Equinor as developers. The level of interest achieved reflects the quality of the project and enables strong return on equity.”

The news comes just weeks after Perth-headquartered SSE outlined plans to invest a bumper £12.5bn over the next five years as it looks to accelerate its net zero plans.

The firm said the move makes it the biggest constructor of offshore wind in the world and will increase the amount of renewable energy produced by four gigawatts over the period.