Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has sold 50% of its 500 MW Greater Gabbard offshore wind project to RWE Innogy subsidiary npower renewables for £308 million. The figure includes £165 million, representing 50% of the capital costs already incurred in developing the project. Greater Gabbard, off the English east coast, was originally a 50-50 joint venture between Ireland's Airtricity, which was subsequently acquired by SSE, and Fluor International. In May, SSE bought out Fluor's stake for £40 million, stating it intended to dispose of it later this year. At the same time, it awarded Fluor the turnkey construction contract. Onshore construction work is already under way, with offshore work due to begin mid 2009. The £1.3 billion project will be built in two phases, with the first expected to start generating in 2010 and full completion in 2011. The 140 turbines will be sited in 24-34 metres of water, 25 kilometres off the coast of Suffolk. SSE and npower renewables will share the output 50-50. SSE chief executive Ian Marchant claims the £100 million profit from the sale vindicates its acquisition of Airtricity earlier this year. Kevin McCullough of RWE Innogy says: "This acquisition is an important step towards reaching RWE Innogy's goal of increasing its renewables production capacity to 4500 MW by 2012." RWE already operates the 60 MW North Hoyle offshore wind farm, its 90 MW project at Rhyl Flats is under construction and it is awaiting consent for its 750 MW Gwynt y Môr project -- all three are off the coast of north Wales.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol