Dogger Bank Wind Farm: a game changer in the offshore sector
Located off the Yorkshire Coast of England, the Dogger Bank Wind Farm will produce enough renewable electricity to power six million UK homes each year. It represents a 9£bn investment. Once fully complete in 2026, it will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
The Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be built in three phases. The first two phases (Dogger Bank A & B) reached financial close end of 2020 and will be constructed at the same time. Dogger Bank A is expected to be operational in 2023, Dogger Bank B in 2024 and the last phase (Dogger Bank C) will be developed on a different timescale with financial close to follow later this year. With a capacity of 3.6GW, the overall wind farm is expected to be completed in 2026.
Located over 130 km off England’s east coast in the North Sea, the Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be capable of producing 18TWh of green electricity or approximately five per cent of UK’s electricity demand, enough to power six million homes annually over its lifetime of up to 35 years. The project will cover an area of 1.700 km2 which is larger than Greater London area.
The wind farm will be equipped with the largest wind turbine commercially available in the world, the 13MW Haliade-X. The project will be the first to use these turbines from General Electric, the most powerful turbines currently in operation. A single sweep of their 220-metre rotors will produce enough electricity to power the average UK home for two days. The project will also be the first High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) connected wind farm in the UK due to its long distance from shore. Dogger Bank Wind Farm is definitely a game changer in the offshore wind sector.
Boosting the UK economy while making it greener
The Dogger Bank Wind Farm will make a significant contribution to the UK economy. Over 300 skilled jobs will be created in North East of England during the development of the project. This includes 120 skilled jobs at marshalling harbour Able Seaton Port in Hartlepool during construction, and 200 skilled jobs to be based offshore and at the Port of Tyne for Operations and Maintenance of the wind farm once operational.
The Dogger Bank Wind Farm developers, Equinor and SSE Renewables, are leading a UK green recovery. Equinor is committed to long term value creation in a low carbon future and targeting carbon neutral operations. The Norwegian energy company will be the lead operator of the wind farm for the duration of the wind farm’s operational phase. SSE Renewables, the renewable arm of the Scottish utility SSE, has a strategy to drive the transition to a net zero future through the world class development, construction and operation of renewable energy assets. The company is lead operator for the development and construction of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm.
"We are proud to be leading on the construction and development of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which has been 10 years in the making. We are putting our money where our mouth is on delivering net zero and reinforcing the UK’s position as a world leader. This investment will help drive a green recovery from coronavirus through the project’s construction over the next five years, creating jobs and boosting the local economy."
SSE Chief Executive
Furthermore, SSE Renewables is a Principal Partner to the UK Government in the run up to and during the COP26 UN climate summit in November 2021.
"The Dogger Bank project is a key milestone in the deployment of our energy transition road map. We very much value the cooperation we have had with Societe Generale on this project and generally in the offshore wind sector over a number of years. Through their wealth of offshore wind finance experience and hedging expertise, Societe Generale have once more helped us deliver an optimized financing for a challenging and complex offshore wind project."
Head of Structured Finance & Corporate Credit, Equinor
Thanks to our recognised leading franchise in the UK offshore wind market, Societe Generale successfully coordinated a group of 29 lenders and was able to secure some of the most prominent roles as documentation bank and hedge execution bank. This demonstrates once again the bank’s ability to offer a one stop shop solution to our clients with leading teams in debt and hedging structuring.
The involvement of Societe Generale in this transaction was complemented by the roles played to directly support the contractors of the project, providing contractors’ guarantee packages for two of the main construction lots.
"We were honoured to play a lead role in the financing of these projects. We feel that these projects really make a difference in the energy mix of the UK, which is a global leader in offshore wind and energy transition. The Dogger Bank projects pave the way to more of these giga-projects in the UK but also in many other countries. With our global set-up and our one team approach, Societe Generale is uniquely placed to support our clients in this journey."
Director, Energy Finance & Advisory, SG London Branch