A large North-east offshore wind development has hit an important milestone.

Moray West Offshore Wind Farm has achieved £2billion of project finance investment and also reached financial close.

To develop the scheme, Moray West secured a government contract for difference (CfD) and Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPAs).

Together, these allowed progress to finalising all commercial and contract arrangements to ramp up construction activity through 2022 and 2023.

It is said to be the first UK offshore wind farm to mostly rely on CPPAs for the commercialisation of its output.

The development will have 60 wind turbines and aims to be generating first power in 2024, with an operational life of over 25 years.

Electricity generation

Moray West, located 14 miles north of Cullen, will be able to generate enough electricity for 640,000 homes and businesses.

Behind the project is Ocean Winds, a joint venture between EDP Renewables and ENGIE - with Ignitis Group as a minority shareholder.

CPPAs were signed for more than 50% of output, enabling the rapid progress of work.

The project is set to be generating full power by 2025.

The country manager for Ocean Winds in the UK, Adam Morrison, said: ““We are delighted to have reached this important milestone following the shareholders’ early support for a bold development strategy.

“Reaching financial close demonstrates the confidence that the financial markets have in the strength of the project and its delivery partners.

Project delivery

“The project team can now focus their combined efforts and expertise to deliver the project on time.

“In Scotland, the significant economic successes include the use of the key ports of Invergordon and Nigg, together with our long-term commitment to investing in Buckie as the operations and maintenance base.”

The chief operating officer for Ocean Winds, Grzegorz Gorski said the company was very proud to keep on delivering on its commercial-scale projects;

He added: “Moray West represents the second secured project finance in our portfolio of projects for the year 2023, after the îles d’Yeu Noirmoutier offshore wind farm in France.

“We now have close to 1.5GW of offshore wind energy in construction in the world, in addition to our 1.5GW already operating.

“Building on our local engagement, we are advancing rapidly globally to provide clean energy to consumers and to companies, accompanying them in their energy transition.”

Necessary consents

The development phase for Moray West commenced in 2016 with surveys leading to applications for marine and onshore consents. All necessary consents were secured in early 2019.

The offshore export cable circuits will come ashore to the east of Sandend Bay.

The cabling will take the generated power to the onshore substation at Whitehillock by the A96 and on to the connection point with the National Grid at the Blackhillock substation outside Keith.

Ocean Winds is also involved in the Moray East offshore wind project in the outer Moray Firth.

The joint venture owned by Diamond Green and CTG and Ocean Winds reached full output in April 2022.

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