SSE Renewables has teamed up with French oil giant Total to build and operate Scotland's largest offshore wind farm to date, as it yesterday announced its final investment decision to proceed with the £3bn Seagreen 1 project in the Firth of Forth.
The 1.075GW wind farm, which is set to provide enough electricity to power one million homes, will be operated by Total once completed in 2022/23, with the French oil giant agreeing to acquire a 51 per cent stake in the project.
In the meantime, SEE Renewables will continue to lead on the development and construction of the wind farm, which it said would provide an economic boost to Scotland's economy and create hundreds of jobs during the project's construction phase and operational lifetime.
"Following the agreement with Total we are looking forward to delivering the Seagreen offshore wind farm which will contribute towards building a cleaner, more resilient economy as we pursue a green recovery from coronavirus by unlocking £3bn of low carbon investment, creating green jobs and generating the zero-carbon power we need to reach net zero," said Jim Smith, managing director of SSE Renewables.
The energy firm has also confirmed it has finalised a deal with MHI Vestas to provide the wind farm's 10MW turbines, with the blades to be manufactured on the Isle of Wight. The turbine foundations, meanwhile, are to be installed by engineering firm Seaway 7.
Around 40 per cent of the wind farm's capacity is covered under a 15-year Contract for Difference (CfD) through the UK government's flagship clean power auction scheme, with around 30 per cent contracted directly with SSE Group.
Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK government's Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, also welcomed the announcement.
"Seagreen 1 will create hundreds of jobs while powering millions of homes and helping to cut CO2 emissions, highlighting the key role offshore wind will play in our journey to a net-zero carbon emissions UK economy," he said. "The UK has invested more in offshore wind than any other country, is home to the world's largest wind farms, and already supplies 10 per cent of UK electricity demand - a figure we expect to double by the middle of the decade."
SSE Renewables said it was also continuing to develop its wholly-owned Seagreen 2 and 3 projects which would boast a combined clean power capacity of 3.2GW and secured development rights from the Crown Estate in 2010. It has also started construction on the world's largest offshore wind farm, the 3.6GW Dogger Bank project off the east coast of England, alongside Equinor.
The news provides a boost to the UK offshore wind industry following several days of setbacks that saw plans to extend Vattenfall's Thanet offshore wind farm rejected by the government and a final planning decision on Ørsted's 2.4GW Hornsea Three project and Vattenfall's 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard project delayed by up to a month.
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