ESB is taking a 50 percent stake in major Scottish offshore wind farm with EDF Renewables

  • Construction of 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe wind farm now underway, with full commissioning complete in 2023
  • Stake a significant milestone in ESB’s plans for a balanced low carbon portfolio of scale in the UK and Ireland

28 November 2019

ESB has today announced that it is taking a 50 percent stake in the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm project from EDF Renewables. 

NnG has a capacity of c. 450 megawatts of low carbon energy and will offset over 400,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. Construction of components is now underway, offshore construction will start in June 2020 and full commissioning will complete in 2023.

The announcement coincides with confirmation from EDF Renewables that financial close for the project has been achieved.  Twenty-five banks are lending money to fund the wind farm which will supply enough low carbon electricity for around 375,000 homes.*

Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB, says that the significant acquisition represents another key milestone in the company’s investment in offshore wind. “Our 50 percent stake in Neart na Gaoithe fits entirely with ESB’s Brighter Future strategy to build a balanced low carbon generation portfolio of scale. Offshore wind is one of the main technologies underpinning the clean electricity systems that will power our societies into the future. This investment in the Neart na Gaoithe project builds on significant ESB involvement in offshore wind off the Irish coast as ESB develops its experience to assist Ireland deliver its Climate Action Plan. We look forward to pooling our expertise with EDF Renewables in delivering this major project.”

EDF Renewables CEO Matthieu Hue adds, “This is a hugely important step for the project and we are excited to get work underway with our equity partner ESB and all of our contractors. The wind farm will play an important role in de-carbonising the UK electricity system to reach the country’s net zero targets.  It is evidence of our continuing investment and growth in Scotland and it shows the ability of EDF in the UK to provide diverse solutions for electricity consumers in terms of low cost renewable electricity.”

A wider EDF Renewables press release is available here. 

ENDS/

Editors' Notes:

* Based upon the average domestic electricity consumption per home of 3,889 kWh per the Energy Consumption in the UK (published July 2017) and Renewable-UK offshore wind average load factor at 37.2 percent

About EDF Renewables in the United Kingdom

EDF Renewables is one of the UK’s leading renewable energy companies which develops, builds and operates generation projects with a focus on onshore and offshore wind as well as battery storage technology. We also look after the operations and maintenance of our own wind farms. The company already operates more than 965MW of wind farms and battery storage (including 496 MW in Scotland) and has more than 2GW consented and in development. The company employs more than 200 people. It is a joint venture between EDF Energy and EDF Renewables.

About Neart na Gaoithe (NnG)
Neart na Gaoithe means ‘strength of the wind’.

NnG is a key UK offshore wind farm project and, with up to £1.8billion invested in its infrastructure, will have a major positive impact on the Scottish economy.

NnG is located off the east coast of Scotland, 15.5 km off the Fife coast and covers an area of approximately 105 km2. EDF Renewables acquired NnG in 2018.

About ESB

ESB operates across the electricity market on the island of Ireland: from generation, through transmission and distribution to the supply of customers with an expanding presence across Great Britain. In 2017 ESB opened an office in Glasgow to spearhead further development of renewables, in particular onshore and offshore wind, across Scotland. ESB is the owner of the distribution and transmission networks in the Republic of Ireland (via ESB Networks) and Northern Ireland (via Northern Ireland Electricity Networks Ltd).  In 2017, the company had a 42% share of generation in the all-island market (via Generation and Wholesale Markets) and a 34% share of electricity supply in the all-island market (via Electric Ireland) with 1.4 million customer accounts.