Mas­dar in­au­gu­rates world’s largest off­shore wind farm

Oil and Gas - - REGIONAL NEWS -

Mas­dar, Abu Dhabi Fu­ture En­ergy Com­pany, in­au­gu­rated its third wind farm in the United King­dom, bring­ing the com­bined power gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity of all three projects to 1 gi­gawatt (GW) – enough clean en­ergy to sup­ply nearly 1 mil­lion homes. To­gether with its part­ners Sta­toil and Statkraft of Nor­way, Mas­dar staged the of­fi­cial “switch on” of the 402-megawatt (MW) Dud­geon Off­shore Wind Farm, lo­cated 32 kilo­me­tres off the Nor­folk coast in Eng­land.

Mas­dar is a 35 per cent share­holder in Dud­geon along­side Sta­toil (35%) and Statkraft (30%). Com­pris­ing 67 wind tur­bines, Dud­geon is now sup­ply­ing around 410,000 UK homes – in one of the largest de­ploy­ments of 6MW wind tur­bines, the most pow­er­ful on the mar­ket. Dud­geon joins Hy­wind Scot­land, the world’s first float­ing wind farm, which Mas­dar also de­vel­oped with Sta­toil, and the Lon­don Ar­ray, still the world’s largest off­shore wind farm cur­rently in op­er­a­tion at 630MW. The wind farm’s 6MW Siemens tur­bines utilise “di­rect-drive” tech­nol­ogy as op­posed to a con­ven­tional gear­box sys­tem, im­prov­ing their re­li­a­bil­ity.

“As part of our strat­egy to de­velop from a tra­di­tional oil and gas com­pany to a di­ver­si­fied en­ergy provider, Sta­toil will grow sig­nif­i­cantly in re­new­able en­ergy, with an am­bi­tion to in­vest around NOK100 bil­lion (AED44.53 bil­lion) over the next few years,” said El­dar Sætre, CEO of Sta­toil. “Dud­geon is a key part of this strat­egy to com­ple­ment our oil and gas port­fo­lio with prof­itable re­new­able en­ergy so­lu­tions, as well as adding to Sta­toil’s strong UK pres­ence.”

The de­vel­op­ment of the Dud­geon Off­shore Wind Farm achieved a num­ber of in­dus­try milestones, in­clud­ing the de­liv­ery of the UK’s long­est un­der­ground on­shore elec­tric­ity cable, which runs 48 kilo­me­tres from the coastal town of Wey­bourne to the project’s sub­sta­tion in Nec­ton. Fi­nan­cial close of the project was achieved in just six months, with the de­vel­op­ers se­cur­ing lim­ited re­course fi­nanc­ing of GBP1.3 bil­lion (AED6.32 bil­lion) in May 2016; Dud­geon is the first UK off­shore wind project to ob­tain fi­nanc­ing un­der the UK gov­ern­ment’s ‘Con­tract for Dif­fer­ence’ (CfD) scheme.

Since an­nounc­ing its ac­qui­si­tion of a 35 per cent stake in Dud­geon in Septem­ber 2014, Mas­dar has grown its wind en­ergy port­fo­lio to in­clude the Mid­dle East’s first util­ity-scale wind farm (Tafila in Jor­dan), the largest wind project in the West Balkans (Čibuk 1), and Hy­wind Scot­land, the world’s first com­mer­cial-scale float­ing wind park, un­veiled last month in the pres­ence of Scot­land’s First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon.

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