Dong snaps up 580MW Race Bank

UK: Dong Energy has bought the 580MW Race Bank offshore wind project in the UK from utility Centrica for £50 million (EUR 60 million).

The planned wind farm is 27 kilometres off England's east coast and has received all major construction consents.

However, the project suffered a setback last week when the Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc) turned down Centrica's application to qualify under its contract for difference mechanism.

Under the new scheme, which is due to be introduced next year, wind project operators will be paid a fixed price for the power they provide to the grid.

At the time, Centrica said it planned to work with Decc to understand why the project did not meet the criteria.

A spokesperson for Dong said: "We think it's a very good project and it will fit within our project pipeline. We expect it will be funded under CfD. However, this depends on the project's timeline."

Dong said it would also look at funding the project through renewables obligation certificates (ROCs). However, the ROC scheme is set to be closed to new entrants in March 2017.

The company declined to comment on the timeline for the project, but the consent allows construction to start from 2017.

A decision to actually build the project is still pending, Dong said, and depends on "continued successful development" of the project.

Geotechnical and geophysical surveys of the site have already been carried out.

"The Race Bank project is located relatively close to shore, with good wind resources, low water depths, and seabed conditions similar to Dong Energy's other UK Round 2 projects," Dong said.