Triton Knoll, the giant 860MW offshore wind farm planned for the Lincolnshire coast, has reached financial close today, according to developers Innogy.
A combination of equity and bank arrangements have come together to secure the financing for the £2bn project, while a turbine supply contract with MHI Vestas has also been agreed, Innogy said.
Construction is set to start in September and finish in 2021. Once up and running Triton Knoll is expected to supply enough green electricity to power the equivalent of 800,000 UK households.
The project is also poised to create around 100 new jobs in the Grimsby area and unlock £16m of investment in new infrastructure and equipment, Innogy added.
“This is a great moment for Triton Knoll and the UK offshore wind industry as we formally secure the means to deliver around £2bn of new UK energy infrastructure,” said Julian Garnsey, project director for Triton Knoll. “Triton Knoll expects to deliver at least 50 per cent of our investment with UK firms over the project’s lifecycle and at the height of construction we expect to see over 3,000 people working on the project.”
It follows news earlier this month that two Japanese utilities have taken a minority stake in the project. Electric Power Development, which operates as J-Power, has taken a 25 per cent stake in the scheme, and Kansai Electric Power Co a 16 per cent stake.
It marked the first entrance into the international offshore wind market from Japanese electric utilities.
Hans Bünting, COO of renewables of Innogy SE, said the reaching of financial close means Innogy and its partners have created the financial base for bringing the project to fruition. “I am very much looking forward to onshore construction starting shortly and seeing the investment come to fruition, with significant benefits to the local economy and businesses,” he added.
In related news, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has today been given the green light by the Scottish government to run its 7MW Levenmouth demonstration turbine until 2029.
The turbine, which has been running off the coast of Fife for four years, offers UK companies and academics the chance to test new technologies and access real world data that can help reduce industry costs.
“This consent extension is really welcome news for the UK’s offshore wind industry,” said Andrew Jamieson, Chief Executive of ORE Catapult. “Accessing real-world operational sites to test and demonstrate new products and services can be a real barrier to small companies looking to break into the offshore wind market. The Levenmouth Turbine offers an easily accessible alternative to demonstrating technologies offshore in harsh and difficult to access sites.”