Three companies have invested into the Galloper windfarm project, helping to secure £1.5 billion of funding. The new project partners are the UK Green Investment Bank, Siemens Financial Services and Macquarie Capital. Each of the companies will have a 25% equity in the windfarm, and they will be joining forces with RWE Innogy to move the project a step closer to reality.
Welcoming the announcement, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom said:
“This is fantastic news for the region and the whole of the UK, reflecting the fact that we are open for business and the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind. This milestone shows how the UK’s offshore wind industry is going from strength to strength.”
Commenting on the investment from the three firms, Hans Bünting, CEO of RWE Innogy said:
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of many months of successful negotiations with our partners and investors and shows that the UK is still a strong market for offshore renewables”.
Bünting added that securing the financing from the three partners was vital for keeping the project “on track”.
In addition to its investment, Siemens will be supplying and installing 56 6 MW turbines as part of the Galloper windfarm, and they have signed up to a 15 year contract to provide ongoing maintenance.
Head of Investing for the UK Green Investment Bank, Ed Northam, described the investment as a significant milestone in the development of the UK offshore industry.
Construction work on the project, which is situated off the coast of Suffolk, will begin in November 2015. It is estimated the construction work will create approximately 800 new jobs, and when it is complete the windfarm is expected to produce enough energy to power more than 300,000 homes.
When the project is up and running, the windfarm is likely to employ 90 people to keep the site operational.
Permission for the Galloper windfarm was first granted back in 2013; cabling work got underway in 2014. It will be situated 27 km of the Suffolk coast and it will have the capacity to create 336 MW.
In January 2016, work will begin at Sizewell beach to lay the cables and offshore construction work is scheduled to start in November 2016. The completed project will also have 6MW turbines and one substation.
When it is finalised, the Galloper windfarm will be situated near to the Greater Gabbard windfarm, which opened in 2012. The Galloper windfarm is expected to be operational from 2018.