UK’s Lincs JV Secures $662mm Project Financing for 270-MW Offshore Wind Farm

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Centrica plc-DONG Energy-Siemens Project Ventures GmbH joint venture Lincs Wind Farm Ltd. has secured non-recourse project finance facilities of £425 million ($662.15 million) for its 270-MW Lincs offshore wind farm. A consortium of 10 commercial banks has joined to provide the financing, the Centrica announced today.

The partners began constructing the mega offshore wind farm in 2010. First power is expected in this year’s second half, with the wind farm fully operational in the first half 2013.

Centrica owns 50% of the Lincs offshore wind farm, DONG Energy 25%, and Siemens Project Ventures 25%. The syndicate of 10 commercial banks is comprised of Abbey National Treasury Services, BNP Paribas, Nordea Bank, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, Unicredit Bank, DNB Bank, HSBC Bank, KfW IPEX-Bank, Lloyds TSD, and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

Centrica was created as a result of the February 1997 demerger of the former British Gas plc. Operating in six countries and employing more than 34 thousand, Centrica generated revenue of GBP22.8 billion ($35.52 billion) and earnings per share of 25.8 pence ($0.40) in 2011.

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Natural gas distribution, storage, and increasingly upstream activities continue to be the mainstay of the company’s operations, though management has made sourcing, distribution, and storage of low-carbon renewable power a strategic priority. That’s come to include the 270-MW Lincs offshore wind farm located 8 km (~5 miles) off east central England’s Lincolnshire County coast.

Construction on the Lincs offshore wind farm began in March. The offshore wind farm project is one of five Centrica renewable energy projects in the Greater Wash area, one that the UK government selected for offshore wind farm development in 2002.

The Lincs project site is located adjacent to Centrica’s Lynn and Inner Dowsing offshore wind farms (194-MW rated capacity), which have been generating clean, renewable electricity since March, 2009. Seventy-five Siemens 3.6-MW turbines with combined rated capacity of 270-MW are to be installed, enough to supply some 200,000 households.

The electricity Lincs’ generates will flow into the grid via an interconnection provided by National Grid at Walpole in West Norfolk. Cables buried in the seabed will carry electricity to an onshore substation, where an extension to the substation will raise the voltage from 132kV to 400kV before delivering it into the grid. The JV has opted to bury the onshore cables to avoid the visual impact of overhead power lines and pylons.

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