Equinor and SSE Announce Close on Largest Ever Offshore Wind Project Financing
Dogger Bank Wind Farm venture partners SSE Renewables and Equinor announced today the financial close on the first two phases of the offshore wind farm project. According to the companies, the financing in aggregate marks the largest ever for an offshore wind farm project.
When completed, Dogger Bank will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, with 3.6 GW of generation capacity. Construction on the project is being led by SSE, while Equinor will operate the project. The wind farm is being built in three consecutive 1.2GW phases; Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C, with each project expected to generate around 6TWh of electricity annually.
Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s Executive Vice President of New Energy Solutions, said:
“Reaching financial close on the two first phases of Dogger Bank is a major milestone, demonstrating our commitment to profitable growth within offshore wind. The extensive interest from lenders underpins the attractiveness of UK offshore wind assets and confidence in SSE and Equinor. As the wind farm’s future operator, we are proud to take this big step forward in delivering what will be the backbone of a growing wind hub in the North Sea.”
The companies stated that total senior debt facilities across the two phases is £4.8 billion, plus ancillary facilities of around £0.7 billion. Dogger Bank A and B are being project financed with gearing of 65% to 70% for the generation assets. Gearing on the transmission facilities is set to 90% of the forecasted OFTO sale proceeds. The final group of lenders included 29 banks and three export credit agencies.
Total investment in the first two phases of the project anticipated to be around £6 billion.
Alistair Philips-Davies, SSE Chief Executive, said:
“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 from coronavirus through the project’s construction over the next five years, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.
“Achieving financial close for the first two phases of the world’s largest wind farm is a huge accomplishment and, alongside reaching Seagreen 1 financial close earlier this year, represents significant progress towards achieving our goal of trebling our renewable output by 2030.”