New wind farm passes ‘hugely important milestone’ as construction begins

New wind farm passes ‘hugely important milestone’ as construction begins

Construction work is under way on a new wind farm which could provide enough electricity for around 375,000 homes.

Energy firm EDF Renewables announced it had achieved financial close for the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) development, which will be sited 15.5km (10 miles) off the coast of Fife.

Twenty-five financial institutions are involved in lending money for the project – whose name means “strength of the wind” – while EDF also announced the ESB is taking a 50% stake.

A total of 54 turbines for the wind farm will be assembled at the Forth Ports in Dundee, before being transported out to the site.

Meanwhile the Scottish engineering firm BiFab are also involved in the project, and will construct a number of the foundation jackets, which anchor the turbines down to the seabed.

The 450 megawatt NnG project will play an important role in de-carbonising the UK electricity system and is a further example of EDF Renewables continuous investment and growth in Scotland

EDF Renewables UK CEO Matthieu Hue said the development had now passed a number of “hugely important milestones”.

He stated: “We are excited to get work under way with our new equity partner ESB, our contractors, and all Scottish companies and stakeholders participating in the project.

“The 450 megawatt NnG project will play an important role in de-carbonising the UK electricity system and is a further example of EDF Renewables continuous investment and growth in Scotland.”

Meanwhile NnG project director Matthias Haag hailed it as a “great day” for “what will be a fantastic project for Scotland and for EDF Renewables”.

Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: “This is positive news for the Port of Dundee, Eyemouth Harbour and BiFab in Fife, which are set to benefit from the associated jobs and investment in the local community, demonstrating the strengths and potential of our indigenous supply chain.

“The Scottish Government is actively encouraging developers to explore every possible option to help the Scottish supply chain in the development of future offshore wind projects.

“While we believe that much more is possible from across the whole sector, today’s announcement is another welcome step in the right direction.”

Pat O’Doherty, chief executive of ESB, said taking a 50% stake in the project “fits entirely with ESB’s Brighter Future strategy to build a balanced low carbon generation portfolio of scale”.

He added: “Offshore wind is one of the main technologies underpinning the clean electricity systems that will power our societies into the future. This investment in the Neart na Gaoithe project builds on significant ESB involvement in offshore wind off the Irish coast as ESB develops its experience to assist Ireland deliver its Climate Action Plan.

“We look forward to pooling our expertise with EDF Renewables in delivering this major project.”

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