EDF Energy hands out £1.4bn contracts for Scottish wind farm

Siemens-Gamesa will provide turbines for 450MW project off after EDF sells 50 percent stake to Ireland’s ESB

French energy company EDF Energy has awarded a £1.4bn (€1.64bn) contract to develop a wind farm off the eastern coast of Scotland to a group of major engineering firms, including Spain’s Siemens-Gamesa, General Electric and Italy’s Saipem.

EDF Renewables, a subsidiary of the French utility, said that Irish state-owned power company ESB would take a 50 per cent stake in the 450-megawatt project that will eventually supply low-carbon electricity to about 375,000 homes. Completion is due in 2023.

Neart na Gaoithe, Gaelic for “strength of the wind”, will comprise 54 eight-megawatt turbines and cover approximately 105 square kilometres off the Fife coast. EDF Renewables acquired NnG in 2018. It is expected to offset over 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

Britain is the world’s largest offshore wind market, accounting for about 8 per cent of the country’s total power generation. Britain plans to generate a third of its power from wind by 2030, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

The UK is also home to the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Hornsea One, which is nearing completion. With capacity to generate 1.2GW, it will be able to power about 1 million homes.

EDF Renewables said it had picked Siemens-Gamesa to supply the wind turbines. Italian engineering firm firm Saipem will provide the foundations, with General Electric supplying the project with power.

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EDF Renewables UK CEO Matthieu Hue said: “The 450MW NnG project will play an important role in decarbonising the UK electricity system and is a further example of EDF Renewables continuous investment and growth in Scotland.”

EDF said all the turbines would be assembled at the Port of Dundee before being transported to the site.

Pat O’Doherty, ESB Offshore chief executive, said: “Wind is one of the main technologies underpinning the clean electricity systems that will power our societies into the future.”

FURTHER READING: Renewable energy set for surge in growth

FURTHER READING: Offshore wind power can meet world’s electricity demand, says IEA

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