- Financial close enables Notice-to-Proceed for Dogger Bank Wind Farm Phase A of the world’s largest offshore wind farm, resulting in Q4 order for GE’s Haliade-X technology
- Consortium of private and public financial institutions provide debt financing package for Dogger Bank Wind Farm Phases A and B
- French export credit agency, Bpifrance Assurance Export, to provide support for its first offshore wind farm project
- On completion, expected in 2026, Dogger Bank Wind Farm is expected to power up to 6 million homes annually in the UK* through renewable energy
London, UK – November 26, 2020 – Today, GE (NYSE: GE) announced Dogger Bank Wind Farm (“Project”), off the north-east coast of England in the North Sea, reached financial close on debt financing for Phases A and B. Upon reaching financial close, Notice-to-Proceed (NTP) for Dogger Bank Wind Farm Phase A was granted by the co-sponsors enabling construction to commence on the world’s largest offshore wind farm, which will debut GE’s 13 MW Haliade-X wind turbines. Financial close also marks a significant fourth quarter order for GE.
Co-sponsors of the Project, SSE Renewables (“SSE”) and Equinor ASA (“Equinor”), secured and closed a project finance debt package for the first two phases of the 3.6 GW wind farm from a consortium of leading private and public financial institutions, including lead arranger BNPP Paribas and export credit agencies (“ECA”) comprising Bpifrance Assurance Export (“Bpifrance”), GIEK, the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency and EKN, the Swedish Export Credit Agency.
GE Energy Financial Services (“GE EFS”) partnered with the co-sponsors to support insurance cover from Bpifrance, the French export credit agency, which insured a portion of the ECA debt financing. GE EFS’ strong partnership with Bpifrance resulted in the first insurance cover from the French export credit provider for an offshore wind farm project. Separate debt facilities structured by the Project co-sponsors are supported by GIEK and EKN.
Susan Flanagan, President & CEO, GE Energy Financial Services, said: “Sourcing financing from the private and public sectors to enable GE’s flagship 13 MW Haliade-X offshore wind farm technology in the UK demonstrates increasing appetite by developers and investors to build and fund renewable energy infrastructure projects. As more mega-offshore wind projects come to market, we are seeing sponsors tap into export credit agencies to support the debt requirements of these capital-intensive projects and attract the needed capital to bring such projects online. In the UK and across Europe, strong renewables buildout is expected to continue and offshore is seen as a transformative energy source that will have a major impact on the pace of the energy transition.”
On the basis of underlying export contracts awarded to GE Renewable Energy, Bpifrance Assurance Export supports the financing of this landmark project, enhancing the liquidity and covering the lending banks against commercial risks.
François Lefebvre , CEO of Bpifrance Assurance Export, said: “Bpifrance supports GE’s “13 MW Haliade-X technology” through the issuance of a credit insurance for the financing of GE Wind France’s contracts, which are major export contracts for the French exporter and a key contribution to the Dogger Bank projects. It is also a milestone in Bpifrance’s support for sustainable projects involving French exporters. Bpifrance is proud to finance the offshore wind sector through its participation in this emblematic project, the largest offshore wind farm in the world.”
Dogger Bank Wind Farm is expected to reach full commercial operations in 2026. The phases which comprises three 1.2 GW projects were successful in the latest Contracts for Difference (CfDs) Allocation Round, the UK Government’s auction for renewable power. SSE Renewables will lead the development and construction phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm and Equinor will lead on operations once completed.
Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE Chief Executive, said: “We are proud to be leading on the construction and development of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which has been 10 years in the making. We are putting our money where our mouth is on delivering net zero and reinforcing the UK’s position as a world leader. This investment will help drive a green recovery from coronavirus through the project’s construction over the next five years, creating jobs and boosting the local economy. Achieving financial close for the first two phases of the world’s largest wind farm is a huge accomplishment and, alongside reaching Seagreen 1 financial close earlier this year, represents significant progress towards achieving our goal of trebling our renewable output by 2030.”
Pål Eitrheim, Equinor EVP of New Energy Solutions, said: “Reaching financial close on the two first phases of Dogger Bank is a major milestone, demonstrating our commitment to profitable growth within offshore wind. The extensive interest from lenders, underpins the attractiveness of UK offshore wind assets and confidence in SSE and Equinor. As the wind farm’s future operator, we are proud to take this big step forward in delivering what will be the backbone of a growing wind hub in the North Sea. Through the sheer scale of the project we have delivered record-low contract prices for the UK market, and as operator of the wind farm we will continue to deliver value to the UK for years to come.”
On completion, Dogger Bank Wind Farm is expected to power up to 6 million homes* annually in the UK, equivalent to 5% of the UK’s electricity demand. In securing financing, GE’s Haliade-X technology will now 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.
John Lavelle, President & CEO, Offshore Wind at GE Renewable Energy, said: “Financial closure is another key milestone for the first two phases of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm. GE is pleased to be able to bring both financial expertise and innovative technology solutions to this record-setting project, which will deliver significant amounts of clean, renewable energy and reinforce the UK’s role as a leader in offshore wind.”
Dogger Bank Wind Farm Phases A and B will each feature 95 of GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X 13 MW offshore wind turbines. In September, GE announced that it finalized supply contracts with Dogger Bank Wind Farm for a total of 190 units of GE’s 13 MW Haliade-X wind turbine, and a five-year Service & Warranty agreement to provide operational support for the wind turbines. GE’s Service team will be co-located with the Dogger Bank Operational and Maintenance team, based out of the Port of Tyne.
* 6 million UK homes powered per annum based on Typical Domestic Consumption Values (Medium Electricity Profile Class 1, 2,900kWh per household; OFGEM, January 2020) and projected total generation output of 18TWh by 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm.
About GE Energy Financial Services
A strategic GE Capital business, GE Energy Financial Services is a global energy investor with 35+ years managing assets through multiple energy cycles. Drawing on its technical know-how, financial strength and strong risk management, GE Energy Financial Services invests in and provides capital solutions for long-lived and capital-intensive projects and companies that help meet the world’s energy needs. It is headquartered in Connecticut with regional hubs in London, Houston, Washington D.C., Singapore and Nairobi. For more information, visit www.geenergyfinancialservices.com and follow us on Twitter @GEEnergyFinServ.
About GE Renewable Energy
GE Renewable Energy is a $15 billion business which combines one of the broadest portfolios in the renewable energy industry to provide end-to-end solutions for our customers demanding reliable and affordable green power. Combining onshore and offshore wind, blades, hydro, storage, utility-scale solar, and grid solutions as well as hybrid renewables and digital services offerings, GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 400+ gigawatts of clean renewable energy and equipped more than 90 percent of utilities worldwide with its grid solutions. With nearly 40,000 employees present in more than 80 countries, GE Renewable Energy creates value for customers seeking to power the world with affordable, reliable and sustainable green electrons.
Follow us at www.ge.com/renewableenergy, on www.linkedin.com/company/gerenewableenergy, or on www.twitter.com/GErenewables
About Bpifrance Assurance Export
Bpifrance Assurance Export is the French Export Credit Agency. In keeping with its mission to boost French exports and reinforcing its range of products, Bpifrance offers a wide array of export insurance solutions for French companies and banks with the direct guarantee of the French State. www.bpifrance.com/export-credit-agency
About Dogger Bank Wind Farm
- Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm once complete.
- It is a 50:50 joint venture between Equinor and SSE Renewables.
- SSE Renewables is lead operator for the development and construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm. Equinor will be lead operator of the wind farm for the duration of the wind farm’s operational phase
- Financial Close on Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B was reached in November 2020. Financial Close for Dogger Bank C is expected in late 2021.
- Consent was granted in 2015.
- Located in the North Sea, with each phase more than 130km from the Yorkshire Coast.
- Onshore construction began in 2020, and offshore construction will begin with turbine installation for Dogger Bank A in 2023
- The first phase, Dogger Bank A, is expected to be operational in 2023. The overall wind farm is expected to be complete in 2026.
- A total of 320 skilled jobs for the North East of England associated with the development and operation of Dogger Bank Wind Farm have been announced so far.
- This includes 120 skilled jobs at marshalling harbour Able Seaton Port in Hartlepool during construction, and 200 skilled jobs to be based offshore and at the Port of Tyne for Operations and Maintenance of the wind farm once operational.
- Dogger Bank A and B has confirmed GE’s 13 MW Haliade-X as the turbine powering the first two phases of the project. As the first order for the 13 MW Haliade-X, installation at Dogger Bank A will be the first time the turbine is installed in the world.
- One rotation of the Haliade-X 13 MW blades can power one UK home for more than two days.
- The wind turbines will be installed on monopile foundations.
- The project will be the first High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) connected wind farm in the UK due to its distance from shore.
About SSE Renewables
SSE Renewables is a leading developer, owner and operator of renewable energy across the UK and Ireland, with a portfolio of around 4GW of onshore wind, offshore wind and hydro. Part of the FTSE-listed SSE plc, its strategy is to drive the transition to a net zero future through the world class development, construction and operation of renewable energy assets.
SSE Renewables owns nearly 2GW of operational onshore wind capacity with over 1GW under development. Its 1,459MW hydro portfolio includes 300MW of pumped storage and 750MW of flexible hydro. Its operational offshore wind portfolio consists of 487MW across two offshore joint venture sites, Beatrice and Greater Gabbard, both of which it operates on behalf of its asset partners.
SSE Renewables has the largest offshore wind development pipeline in the UK and Ireland at over 6GW, of which around 3GW is in construction or consented. It is currently constructing the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm in the North Sea, a joint venture with Equinor. It also building Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm, the 1.1GW Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm in the Firth of Forth, which is a joint venture with Total.
SSE Renewables is a Principal Partner to the UK Government in the run up to and during the COP26 UN climate summit in November 2021.
About Equinor in the UK
Equinor has been operating in the UK for over 35 years. Headquartered in Norway, the company employs 22,000 people globally, and over 650 in the UK. As a broad energy company, Equinor is committed to long term value creation in a low carbon future, and targeting carbon neutral operations globally by 2030.
Equinor is the UK’s leading energy provider and supports the UK economy by investing billions in crucial energy infrastructure, working with over 700 suppliers across the country. Its energy supplies from Norway meet more than one quarter of the UK’s demand for natural gas and around one fifth of its demand for oil, both produced with one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry. It operates the Mariner oil field, one of the largest and most digitally advanced offshore investments in the UK over the last decade, and is progressing Rosebank, the largest undeveloped field in the UK.
Both projects support hundreds of jobs and economic activity in Scotland. Equinor also operates two offshore wind farms off the East Coast of England, Dudgeon and Sheringham Shoal. It is a pioneer in floating wind technology with Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating wind farm off the coast of Peterhead, which is partnered with Batwind, the world’s first battery for offshore wind. And with its partner SSE Renewables, Equinor is building the largest offshore wind farm in the world, Dogger Bank, off the North East coast of England. It is also a leader in both carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen, and is developing a number of projects in Europe, including in the Humber and Teesside regions of North East England.
For media inquiries, please contact:Arti Mohan
GE Energy Financial Services
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[email protected] Jaclyn Cochrane
GE Energy Financial Services
+1 203 219 7463
[email protected] Sebastien Duchamp
GE Renewable Energy
+33 6 73 19 59 64