Scots renewables giant backed to build world’s biggest offshore windfarm

27th November 2020 | Commercial Energy

Scottish Hydroelectric owner SSE has passed a key milestone on a massive windfarm development project in a success which emphasised the appeal of the sector to investors. The Perth-based energy giant said it has secured the funding required to support work on the first phase of the Dogger Bank windfarm in the North Sea. Set to be the world’s biggest offshore windfarm, Dogger Bank is expected to be capable of producing enough renewable electricity to supply five per cent of UK demand and power six million homes each year.

The first two phases will require a total £6 billion capital investment. SSE will split the costs with Norwegian oil giant Equinor. Both have 50% stakes in Dogger Bank. The partners have secured £5.5bn debt funding for the project. SSE noted, “Due to the strong appetite from lenders, Dogger Bank Wind Farm was able to secure competitive terms, despite raising the debt during unprecedented economic circumstances arising from the global coronavirus pandemic.” It added, “The level of interest achieved reflects the high quality of the project and enables strong returns on shareholder capital to be delivered.”

Offshore windfarm

Following the apparent vote of confidence in Dogger Bank, SSE expects to be able to realise some of its investment in the project in coming weeks. The company said a process to sell an equity stake in the first two phases of Dogger Bank is currently under way. The interest shown in Dogger Bank by lenders provides vindication for SSE’s decision to invest significant effort in a project that has been under development for years.

SSE’s chief executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies, said yesterday, “We are proud to be leading on the construction and development of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which has been 10 years in the making. We are putting our money where our mouth is on delivering net zero and reinforcing the UK’s position as a world leader. This investment will help drive a green recovery … over the next five years, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.”

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