In addition to the £308m cash consideration, npower will reimburse SSE for 50 per cent of capital costs incurred during the development of the project.
The completed wind farm will have a total capacity of approximately 500MW and a load factor of over 40 per cent. It will also include 140 turbines mounted on steel monopiles and transition pieces, in water depths ranging between 24 and 34m.
Onshore work is currently in progress with offshore construction on track to begin next year. SSE will act as operator throughout its construction and operational phase with the entire project scheduled for completion in 2011.Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE said: ‘This year has been characterised by high and volatile prices for fossil fuels and by political uncertainty in key oil and gas producing regions. All of this again demonstrates the long-term value of energy sources that are both renewable and indigenous, and of our acquisition of Airtricity earlier this year.
‘Greater Gabbard is a major development in every sense, and its significance is underlined by RWE Innogy’s investment in it. Our priority is to make sure construction work proceeds in an efficient and timely manner, so that it can begin to play its important part in meeting the UK’s energy needs as soon as possible.’