Construction of the Neart na Gaoithe offshore windfarm is now underway following confirmation from EDF Renewables that financial close for the project has been achieved
EDF Renewables also announced that leading Irish energy company ESB is taking a 50% stake in the project.
Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) has a capacity of 450 MW. Construction of components is now underway, offshore construction will start in June 2020 and full commissioning will complete in 2023.
EDF Renewables UK chief executive Matthieu Hue said, “These are hugely important milestones for the project, and a great credit to the EDF Renewables team. We are excited to get work under way with our new equity partner ESB, our contractors, and all Scottish companies and stakeholders participating in the project.”
ESB chief executive Pat O’Doherty said the acquisition represented “another key milestone” in the company’s investment in offshore wind.
“Our 50% stake in Neart na Gaoithe fits entirely with ESB’s Brighter Future strategy to build a balanced low carbon generation portfolio of scale. Offshore wind is one of the main technologies underpinning the clean electricity systems that will power our societies into the future.
“This investment in the Neart na Gaoithe project builds on significant ESB involvement in offshore wind off the Irish coast as ESB develops its experience to assist Ireland to deliver its Climate Action Plan. We look forward to pooling our expertise with EDF Renewables in delivering this major project.”
Following successful development of the site, NnG will move into a full lease with Crown Estate Scotland to allow the construction and operation of the windfarm.
NnG will also further the offshore wind industry in Scotland, providing new jobs and manufacturing opportunities. EDF Renewables UK has already increased its Edinburgh team from 44 people to over 100 people at the Atria One building in Scotland’s capital city.
All of the project’s 54 turbines will be assembled at the Port of Dundee before being transported to the site and the Scottish engineering firm BiFab will build a number of the foundation jackets.
Project servicing and maintenance will take place at the Scottish NnG Operations and Maintenance base where there will be 50 permanent jobs over the 25-year lifetime of the windfarm. The preferred supplier at this stage is Eyemouth Harbour.
EDF Renewables also announced some of the project’s tier one contractors. The windfarm will have 54 8-MW wind turbine generators supplied by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.
The foundations for the turbines will be supplied and installed by Saipem, with a number of the jackets being made by BiFab. Saipem will also supply and install an additional two jackets for the offshore substations (OSS).
The supply of the onshore and the two OSS’s, plus electrical design work, will be carried out by GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business together with its consortium partner HSM BV.
Prysmian Group will supply and install the export cable, both offshore and onshore. Two offshore export cables, approximately 37 km long, will connect the OSSs to Thorntonloch Beach in East Lothian. The onshore cable will connect the offshore cables to the onshore substation located at Crystal Rig in the Lammermuir Hills, approximately 12 km away.
DEME Offshore has won the contract for engineering, procuring, constructing and installing the inter-array and interconnector cables, with offshore installation expected in 2021.The layout will include 12 separate 66-kV array strings, connecting the turbines to the OSSs in three loops to each OSS.
Fred Olsen Windcarrier will transport and install the turbines, with offshore installation expected in 2022. The vessel Blue Tern will be used for the works with the Port of Dundee as the loading harbour for the wind turbines.