Climate Action

EDF buys major offshore wind farm off the Scottish coast

French electricity company, EDF, has announced the acquisition of a major offshore wind farm in the UK.

  • 04 May 2018
  • Adam Wentworth

French electricity company, EDF, has announced the acquisition of a major offshore wind farm in the UK.

The Neart na Gaoithe (NNG) project (Gaelic for ‘strength of the wind’), has a capacity of 450 megawatts, enough to power 375,000 households, more than the whole of Edinburgh. It will be located 9.6 miles off the east coast of Scotland.

EDF anticipates the wind farm will require around £1.8 billion of investment, and support 2,000 jobs during construction, making it one of Scotland’s largest infrastructure projects.

Bruno Bensasson, CEO of EDF Energy Renewables, said: “This large-scale new offshore project demonstrates our strong ambition in being a leading global player in the offshore wind industry. It confirms EDF Group’s wider commitment to renewables in countries where EDF already has a strong footprint such as the United Kingdom.”

The wind farm had been the subject of repeated legal action by the RSPB, the largest conservation charity in the country, which had objected on the grounds that it would impact migrating birds.

The case was ultimately dismissed at the UK Supreme Court after three years of court hearings. In that time, innovations within the offshore wind industry has led to more powerful machines being developed, meaning NNG will use far fewer turbines than originally envisaged. It is now expected to be built by 2023.

The purchase, rumoured to cost £500 million from Mainstream Renewable Power which developed the project, follows a previously unsuccessful foray by the French company into offshore wind. In 2015, a separate project EDF was developing off the south coast of England was rejected by the government.

Mainstream’s CEO, Andy Kinsella said “we are delighted to be handing over this world-class project.”

“The completion of this sale adds to Mainstream’s global track record as the leading independent developer of some of the most significant and complex wind and solar projects across Europe, South America, Africa and Asia.”

 

Photo Credit: synecdoche/Flickr