European Backing for Windfarm off Scottish Coast
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide $770 million for construction of the Beatrice windfarm to be built off the coast of northeast Scotland.
The windfarm will cost a total of around $4 billion. Part of the EIB loan will be guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments, which was established last year by EIB and the European Commission to enable increased lending by the EIB in strategic sectors such as renewable energy.
This project is the single largest investment in an offshore windfarm by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The 86 turbine Beatrice windfarm will generate up to 588MW of renewable electricity equivalent to the energy needs of more than 475, 000 and is expected to be fully operational in 2019.
“Contracts have already been placed with many UK based suppliers,” said Paul Cooley, director of renewables at SSE, an energy company and one of the owners of the project. “SSE will continue to play its part in investing in the critical energy infrastructure the country needs to power homes across the UK.”
“Thanks to the Investment Plan and the European Investment Bank, we are getting closer to reaching our [Paris climate conference] goals,” said Maroš Šefcovic, European Commission vice president responsible for energy. “Already the European Fund for Strategic Investments has helped to finance sustainable, green investments across the EU worth billions of euros. Indeed more than half of the EFSI projects approved so far are in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green investment.”
The Beatrice windfarm will use a new generation of Siemens 7MW Wind Turbines with 505-foot diameter rotor blades. The wind turbines, the largest generally available, will each be more than 600 feet high.
SSE is working closely with local businesses to create a sustainable local supply chain, advertise opportunities for local suppliers and provide opportunities for local firms to benefit from investment in Scotland’s power infrastructure.
Over the last decade the European Investment Bank has provided more than $14 billion for investment in energy infrastructure across the UK including renewable energy schemes, national transmission networks and regional power distribution, as well as inter-connectors to Ireland, France, and the Netherlands.