United Kingdom

United Kingdom

RWE plans Galloper construction in 2015

UK: RWE Innogy is aiming for the once-shelved 340MW Galloper project to begin construction by the end of this year, in a complete eight-month turnaround.

Galloper is located off the UK's east coast, beside the Greater Gabbard project
Galloper is located off the UK's east coast, beside the Greater Gabbard project

RWE released an update on the project, which said it was working with suppliers and possible financial partners to achieve a final investment decision in "the second half of 2015". It is also aiming to begin onshore construction by the end of this year.

The developer said it had assessed possible suppliers and will begin a financing process "in the coming months".

In October 2014, RWE stopped the development of the 340MW project, citing time constraints to secure financing under the Renewables Obligation (ROC) support scheme.

Galloper was being developed by RWE in partnership with SSE. But the latter decided to pull back on its offshore commitments and exited the project in September.

RWE is still seeking financial partnership for the project, and had held meetings with possible investors, including the Green Investment Bank. It is aiming to find enough partners to reduce its stake in the project from 50% to 25%.

In December, RWE revived the project. It said it was "investigating all options in relation to the future of Galloper". Later it revealed the project would go ahead, bidding for a contract for difference (CfD) subsidy in the first competitive auction. The winners were announced in February, and Galloper was unsuccessful.

However, speaking in January, Richard Sandford, head of offshore wind at RWE, said even though the company had qualified to bid for a CfD, the project also remained eligible for the outgoing ROC, due to the scheme's grace period

"We have got both options open to us. Galloper is in a very fortunate position," Sandford said.

Conditions around the grace period mean the first turbine at the project must be generating power by March 2018.

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