Masdar today inaugurated its third wind farm in the United Kingdom, bringing the combined power generating capacity of all three projects to 1 gigawatt (GW) – enough clean energy to supply nearly 1 million homes.
Together with its partners Statoil and Statkraft of Norway, Masdar staged the official “switch on” of the 402-megawatt (MW) Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, located 32 kilometres off the Norfolk coast in England.
Today’s ceremony was attended by Eldar Sætre, President and Chief Executive Officer of Statoil; Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar; and Steinar Bysveen, Executive Vice President of Wind Power, District Heating and Projects, Statkraft.
Also present were Hugo Robson, Chief Commercial Negotiator at the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS); His Excellency Mohammed Sharaf, UAE Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Economic and Trade Affairs; Elnar Remi Holmen, State Secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy; and Kerry Robinson-Payne, Mayor of Great Yarmouth.
Masdar is a 35 per cent shareholder in Dudgeon alongside Statoil (35%) and Statkraft (30%).
Comprising of 67 wind turbines, Dudgeon is now supplying around 410,000 UK homes – in one of the largest deployments of 6MW wind turbines, the most powerful on the market. Dudgeon joins Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating wind farm, which Masdar also developed with Statoil, and the London Array, still the world’s largest offshore wind farm currently in operation at 630MW.
“Today’s inauguration of Dudgeon highlights Masdar’s emergence as a global renewable energy leader and the value of international partnerships in successfully deploying large-scale renewable energy projects,” said Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar.
“Together with London Array and Hywind Scotland, it also positions the UAE at the forefront of the United Kingdom’s drive to meet its domestic power demand through clean energy sources. The increasing cost efficiency of offshore wind technology is unlocking substantial commercial opportunities for the wider energy sector, as illustrated by the success of Dudgeon.”
“Today marks the completion of a three-year journey to deliver our third wind power project in the United Kingdom, but only the latest step in our collaboration with Statoil and Statkraft,” said Mohamed Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar. “We’re proud to have played a significant role in the delivery of Dudgeon, both on the operations side and in terms of financing. The teamwork among our three companies has been exceptional, a key factor in the successful delivery of this flagship wind energy project.”
“Dudgeon also makes an important contribution to the UK’s renewable energy strategy and represents continued progress in the deployment of commercially viable clean technology,” added Al Ramahi. “The support of the British government has been critical to the success of Dudgeon; at Masdar, we are eager to build on our presence in the UK renewables sector, working with our partners.”
Dudgeon’s first wind turbine started up in January. All 67 turbines are now operational following today’s “switch on” ceremony, generating 1.75 terawatt-hours of electricity per annum while displacing an estimated 893,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually (the equivalent of taking around 190,000 cars off the roads).
The wind farm’s 6MW Siemens turbines utilise “direct-drive” technology as opposed to a conventional gearbox system, improving their reliability.
“As part of our strategy to develop from a traditional oil and gas company to a diversified energy provider, Statoil will grow significantly in renewable energy, with an ambition to invest around NOK100 billion (AED44.53 billion) over the next few years,” said Eldar Sætre, CEO of Statoil. “Dudgeon is a key part of this strategy to complement our oil and gas portfolio with profitable renewable energy solutions, as well as adding to Statoil’s strong UK presence.”
“The way that the Dudgeon project has been delivered embodies the strengths and culture of the companies involved, Statoil, Masdar and Statkraft,” said Statkraft’s President and CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen. “It has required significant technical innovation, has been delivered through an excellent relationship with local stakeholders and suppliers, and has stimulated local jobs and economic growth for the East Anglia region. And the project itself has been delivered on time, below budget, and most importantly with an excellent safety record.”
The development of the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm achieved a number of industry milestones, including the delivery of the UK’s longest underground onshore electricity cable, which runs 48 kilometres from the coastal town of Weybourne to the project’s substation in Necton.
Financial close of the project was achieved in just six months, with the developers securing limited recourse financing of GBP1.3 billion (AED6.32 billion) in May 2016; Dudgeon is the first UK offshore wind project to obtain financing under the UK government’s ‘Contract for Difference’ (CfD) scheme.
Since announcing its acquisition of a 35 per cent stake in Dudgeon in September 2014, Masdar has grown its wind energy portfolio to include the Middle East’s first utility-scale wind farm (Tafila in Jordan), the largest wind project in the West Balkans (Čibuk 1), and Hywind Scotland, the world’s first commercial-scale floating wind park, unveiled last month in the presence of Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Masdar’s Clean Energy division is a leading developer and operator of utility-scale, grid-tied projects; applications providing energy access to communities away from the electricity grid; and carbon abatement projects.
Since 2006, Masdar has invested in renewable energy projects with a combined value of US$8.5 billion; the company’s share of this investment is US$2.7 billion. Masdar’s renewable energy projects are located in the UAE, Jordan, Mauritania, Egypt, Morocco, the UK, Serbia and Spain. The electricity generating capacity of these projects, which are either fully operational or under development, is 2.7 gigawatts (GW) gross.
Masdar’s track record and international operations in wind energy will be on show at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which runs from January 13-20, 2018.