Upon completion, it is expected to be the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
Financial close marks a significant fourth quarter order for GE and the first commercial order for the uprated version of GE’s Haliade-X offshore wind turbine platform. Dogger Bank C will be equipped with 87 Haliade-X 14 MW offshore wind turbines, the first in the world to operate at 14 MW. The announcement brings the total number of Haliade-X units to be installed at Dogger Bank to 277.
Co-sponsors of Dogger Bank C, SSE Renewables and Equinor ASA, secured and closed a project finance debt package from a consortium of 28 banks and three export credit agencies (ECAs), including Bpifrance Assurance Export, the French ECA. Taken in aggregate with financing of Dogger Bank A and B last year, reaching financial close on all three phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm is the world’s largest offshore wind project financing to-date.
GE Energy Financial Services partnered with the co-sponsors to support insurance cover from Bpifrance, which insured a portion of the ECA debt financing. Separate debt facilities structured by the co-sponsors are supported by EKN, the Swedish export credit agency and Export Finance Norway (Eksfin), the Norwegian export credit agency.
Dogger Bank C is being project financed with gearing of around 70 percent for the generation assets. Gearing on the transmission facilities is set at 90 percent of the forecast Offshore Electricity Transmission (OFTO) sale proceeds, in line with standard market practice in the sector. Total senior debt facilities are around £2.5 billion plus ancillary facilities of around £435 million.
“GE Energy Financial Services partnered with Bpifrance to offer GE customer access to diversified and competitive financing cover to a project that will deliver sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy to the equivalent of six million households annually in the UK” said Susan Flanagan, President & CEO, GE Energy Financial Services. “We believe export credit agencies play a significant role globally in driving the energy transition and supporting new technology for large scale, capital-intensive projects, including offshore wind and emerging technologies.”
GE Renewable Energy and Dogger Bank have also finalised the service and warranty contract for a five-year full-service agreement that will begin once the Dogger Bank C phase is commissioned in 2026. Dogger Bank Wind Farm has combined installed capacity of up to 3.6 GW and is expected to reach full commercial operations in 2026 with turbine installation beginning in 2025. The phases which comprise three 1.2 GW projects were successful in the Contracts for Difference (CfDs) Allocation Round, the UK Government’s auction for renewable power. SSE Renewables is leading on the development and construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, and Equinor will operate the wind farm on completion for its expected operational life of around 35 years.
On completion, Dogger Bank Wind Farm is expected to power up the equivalent of six million homes annually in the UK or of 5 percent of the UK’s electricity demand. GE’s Haliade-X technology will have an important role to play in the UK’s offshore wind ambitions (40 GW by 2030) and greenhouse emission reduction to ‘net-zero’ by 2050.
Dogger Bank A and B is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40 percent), Equinor (40 percent) and Eni (20 percent). In November 2021 SSE Renewables and Equinor, 50:50 joint venture partners in Dogger Bank C, announced Eni will take a 20 percent stake in the third phase, with SSE Renewables and Equinor maintaining 40 percent stakes each. The deal is expected to complete in Q1 2022, subject to Dogger Bank C financial close and regulatory approvals. As previously announced, Dogger Bank A and B phases will be the first to feature GE’s Haliade-X 13 MW offshore wind turbines, with a total of 190 to be installed. SSE Renewables and Equinor are already constructing the first two phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm with Eni, joint venture partner on phases A and B.
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