SSE acquires stake in wind farm

1 min read

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has signed an agreement with Dong Energy to take a 25.1 per cent stake in the 367MW Walney offshore wind farm.

The wind farm is currently being built by Dong Energy in the Irish Sea. Once complete it is expected to have an average load factor of around 43 per cent and produce around 1,300GWh of electricity a year.

Under the agreement, Dong Energy will retain a 74.9 per cent stake in the farm. SSE will pay around £39m for its stake, of which approximately £17m will be subject to the wind farm’s operational performance.

Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE, said: ‘Major offshore wind developments such as Walney benefit from a partnership approach that blends the skills and experience of each party, and this agreement between SSE and Dong Energy does exactly that.’

Construction will be undertaken in two phases, with the first phase due to begin in the spring of 2010. The second phase will begin in the spring of 2011 and will feature new 120m rotors, to be supplied by Siemens. It will enter commercial operation in two phases: during the first half of 2011 and towards the end of 2011, and will cost just under £1bn.

The project will initially be funded by Dong Energy, while SSE will contribute its 25.1 per cent share of the construction cost of the project in two stages, when each phase of the wind farm is commissioned.

Anders Eldrup, chief executive of Dong Energy, said: ‘The partnership with SSE in the UK provides an opportunity for Dong Energy, through its reduced share in Walney, to diversify risks and at the same time utilise and further develop our offshore experience. The UK is one of the primary markets for Dong Energy’s wind-development activities now and in the near future.’

The contract follows an agreement in December between SSE and Dong to form a 50:50 joint venture for the development of three offshore wind farms in the Dutch sector of the North Sea, with a total capacity of just over 1,000MW.