- Largest offshore wind project financing to date globally for world’s largest offshore wind farm.
- Landmark £5.5bn financing deal for UK offshore wind farm delivered by final group of lenders comprising 29 banks and three export credit agencies.
- Project partners SSE Renewables and Equinor leading UK green recovery with 320 skilled jobs for North East of England already announced.
- When fully complete in 2026, Dogger Bank Wind Farm will produce enough renewable electricity to supply 5% of UK demand and power six million homes each year.
26 November 2020: Dogger Bank Wind Farm owners, SSE Renewables and Equinor, have today announced financial close on the first two phases of the project, representing in aggregate the largest offshore wind project financing to date globally.
With a capacity of 3.6GW, Dogger Bank will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world when operational.
The project is being built in three 1.2GW phases, with the first two phases being constructed at the same time to maximise the synergies resulting from their geographical proximity and make use of common technology and contractors. As such, the two phases are being financed concurrently with all lenders participating in each phase in equal proportions.
The third phase, Dogger Bank C, is being developed on a different timescale with financial close to follow at a later stage.
With the strong interests from lenders, Dogger Bank A and B were able to secure competitive terms, despite unprecedented economic circumstances arising from the global coronavirus pandemic. The final group of lenders, comprising 29 banks and three export credit agencies, includes the most experienced lenders in the sector along with many relationship lenders of both SSE Renewables and Equinor. e level of interest achieved reflects the high quality of the project and enables strong returns on shareholder capital to be delivered.
Dogger Bank A and B will each require total capital expenditure of around GBP3bn, including offshore transmission capex of around £800m per phase. Investment in the first two phases of the project has already secured the creation of 320 new skilled jobs for the North East of England associated with the development and operation of the wind farm, with more to come as construction ramps up.
The total senior debt facilities across the two phases is GBP4.8bn, plus ancillary facilities of around GBP0.7bn. Dogger Bank A and B are being project financed with gearing of between 65% and 70% for the generation assets. Gearing on the transmission facilities is set at 90% of the forecast OFTO sale proceeds.
Alistair Phillips-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.”
Pål Eitrheim, Equinor EVP 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. 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.”
Located over 130 km off the north east coast of England, Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be the first project to use the largest commercially available turbine in the world, the 13MW GE Haliade-X. When fully completed in 2026, each phase of Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be able to produce 6TWh of renewable electricity, totalling 18TWh annually – enough to supply 5% of the UK’s demand and equivalent to powering six million UK homes each year*.
Dogger Bank Wind Farm was awarded exclusive development rights for fifty years in 2010 by The Crown Estate as part of its third seabed licensing round. The project secured planning consent in 2015. In September 2019, Dogger Bank Wind Farm secured the following 15-year contracts with the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) through the UK Government’s Contract for Difference (CfD) auction:
- Dogger Bank A (1,200MW) with a strike price of £39.65/MWh (in 2012 prices, CPI-indexed) for delivery in 2023/24.
- Dogger Bank B and C (1,200MW each) with strike prices of £41.61/MWh (in 2012 prices, CPI-indexed) for delivery in 2024/25.
Onshore construction is currently underway for Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, with offshore construction for Dogger Bank A due to begin in Q2 2022. For both phases, onshore and offshore cable and all turbine foundations will be installed by 2023. First power is expected in Summer 2023 and Summer 2024 for Dogger Bank A and B, respectively, with commercial operations to begin the following year.
Picture caption: SSE Renewables and Equinor, the joint venture partners co-developing the 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm in the North Sea, have announced financial close on the first two phases of the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Picture source: GE Renewable Energy.
Notes to editors:
- The final group of lenders comprises 29 banks including:
Hedge Execution Banks:
- Lloyds Bank
- Societe Generale
- Societe Generale
Intercreditor Agent and Security Trustee
- MUFG Bank, Ltd.
ECA Agent and ECA Facilities Agent
- Barclays Bank PLC
- Export Credit Agencies are:
- Bpifrance Assurance Export
- EKN, The Swedish Export Credit Agency
- GIEK, The Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency
- Dogger Bank Wind Farm was advised by:
- Borrower’s Legal Advisors: Linklaters
- Lenders’ Legal Advisors: Norton Rose Fulbright
- Financial Advisors: BNP Paribas
- Market Advisors: Baringa
- Technical Advisors: K2 Management
*6 million UK homes powered per annum based on Typical Domestic Consumption Values (Medium Electricity Profile Class 1, 2,900kWh per household; OFGEM, January 2020) and projected total generation output of 18TWh by 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm.
For further information:
Media contact – Dogger Bank Wind Farm:
Jason Cooke, SSE Renewables
+353 (0) 86 264 6710
Rachel Lawrence, SSE Renewables
+44 (0) 7385 368783
About Dogger Bank Wind Farm:
- Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm once complete.
- It is a 50:50 joint venture between Equinor and SSE Renewables.
- SSE Renewables is lead operator for the development and construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm. Equinor will be lead operator of the wind farm for the duration of the wind farm’s operational phase
- Financial Close on Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B was reached in November 2020. Financial Close for Dogger Bank C is expected in late 2021.
- Consent was granted in 2015.
- Located in the North Sea, with each phase more than 130km from the Yorkshire Coast.
- Onshore construction began in 2020, and offshore construction will begin with turbine installation for Dogger Bank A in 2023
- The first phase, Dogger Bank A, is expected to be operational in 2023. The overall wind farm is expected to be completed in 2026.
- A total of 320 skilled jobs for the North East of England associated with the development and operation of Dogger Bank Wind Farm have been announced so far.
- This includes 120 skilled jobs at marshalling harbour Able Seaton Port in Hartlepool during construction, and 200 skilled jobs to be based offshore and at the Port of Tyne for Operations and Maintenance of the wind farm once operational.
- Dogger Bank A and B has confirmed GE’s 13MW Haliade-X as the turbine powering the first two phases of the project. As the first order for the 13MW Haliade-X, installation at Dogger Bank A will be the first time the turbine is installed in the world.
- One rotation of the Haliade-X 13MW blades can power one UK home for more than two days.
- The wind turbines will be installed on monopile foundations.
- The project will be the first High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) connected wind farm in the UK due to its distance from shore.
About SSE Renewables
SSE Renewables is a leading developer, owner and operator of renewable energy across the UK and Ireland, with a portfolio of around 4GW of onshore wind, offshore wind and hydro. Part of the FTSE-listed SSE plc, its strategy is to drive the transition to a net zero future through the world class development, construction and operation of renewable energy assets.
SSE Renewables owns nearly 2GW of operational onshore wind capacity with over 1GW under development. Its 1,459MW hydro portfolio includes 300MW of pumped storage and 750MW of flexible hydro. Its operational offshore wind portfolio consists of 487MW across two offshore joint venture sites, Beatrice and Greater Gabbard, both of which it operates on behalf of its asset partners.
SSE Renewables has the largest offshore wind development pipeline in the UK and Ireland at over 6GW, of which around 3GW is in construction or consented. It is currently constructing the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm in the North Sea, a joint venture with Equinor. It also building Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm, the 1.1GW Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm in the Firth of Forth, which is a joint venture with Total.
SSE Renewables is a Principal Partner to the UK Government in the run up to and during the COP26 UN climate summit in November 2021.
About Equinor in the UK
Equinor has been operating in the UK for over 35 years. Headquartered in Norway, the company employs 22,000 people globally, and over 650 in the UK. As a broad energy company, Equinor is committed to long term value creation in a low carbon future, and targeting carbon neutral operations globally by 2030.
Equinor is the UK’s leading energy provider and supports the UK economy by investing billions in crucial energy infrastructure, working with over 700 suppliers across the country. Its energy supplies from Norway meet more than one quarter of the UK’s demand for natural gas and around one fifth of its demand for oil, both produced with one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry. It operates the Mariner oil field, one of the largest and most digitally advanced offshore investments in the UK over the last decade, and is progressing Rosebank, the largest undeveloped field in the UK.
Both projects support hundreds of jobs and economic activity in Scotland. Equinor also operates two offshore wind farms off the East Coast of England, Dudgeon and Sheringham Shoal. It is a pioneer in floating wind technology with Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating wind farm off the coast of Peterhead, which is partnered with Batwind, the world’s first battery for offshore wind. And with its partner SSE Renewables, Equinor is building the largest offshore wind farm in the world, Dogger Bank, off the North East coast of England. It is also a leader in both carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen, and is developing a number of projects in Europe, including in the Humber and Teesside regions of North East England.