Published on September 5th, 2018 | by Joshua S Hill0
Mammoth 860 Megawatt Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm Reaches Financial Close
September 5th, 2018 by Joshua S Hill
German energy company innogy SE announced late last month that its mammoth 860 megawatt (MW) Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm had reached financial close, would be built using wind turbines supplied by MHI Vestas, and would supply 100% of the power generated to Ørsted through a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
A string of announcements spanning August 31 and September 3 heralded the next step for the 860 MW Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm, which is being developed by German energy company innogy SE which acquired the project from its parent company RWE and acquired a 50% stake from Norwegian renewable energy company Statkraft. The project originally started out in life with a potential 1.2 gigawatts (GW) but has since been scaled back to 860 MW. In the middle of August, innogy also divested a 41% stake in the project to two Japanese electric utilities, J-Power and Kansai Electric Power.
On August 31, innogy SE announced the completion of the project’s next step, confirming that it had reached Financial Close. In addition, innogy SE announced that it had signed a turbine supply contract with world-leading offshore wind turbine manufacturer MHI Vestas for the supply of 90 of its V164-9.5 MW wind turbines — for the time being, the world’s most powerful wind turbine boasting a rotor diameter greater than the London Eye — and agreements with the east coast UK ports which will build and service the offshore wind farm. The project, which is expected to be commissioned in 2021, won a strike price of £74.75 MW-hour (MWh) through the UK’s Contracts for Difference auctions held a year ago.
“This is a great moment for Triton Knoll and the UK offshore wind industry as we formally secure the means to deliver around £2 billion of new UK energy infrastructure,” said Triton Knoll Project Director Julian Garnsey. “Triton Knoll expects to deliver at least 50% of our investment with UK firms over the project’s lifecycle and at the height of construction we expect to see over 3000 people working on the project.
“We are delighted to be expanding the project’s UK footprint with MHI Vestas and these two east coast ports. The subsequent investment in Able UK’s Seaton port facility represents a great opportunity to enhance offshore wind port facilities within the Northern Powerhouse region.”
MHI Vestas confirmed its involvement several days later, explaining that in addition to turbine supply it would also provide comprehensive service and maintenance for 5 years.
“With financial close now reached for Triton Knoll, the UK has again affirmed its position as the global leader in offshore wind. This means highly-skilled jobs in the local offshore wind sector,” said MHI Vestas CEO, Philippe Kavafyan. “In providing 90 of our flagship V164-9.5 MW turbines, MHI Vestas is proud to partner with Triton Knoll to leverage our UK industrial footprint, notably our production of blades already being successfully exported, and work with Able UK to develop the Seaton facility into a full-scale, pre-assembly site for this project.”
In addition to the wind turbine supply agreement, both innogy SE and MHI Vestas committed to supporting the UK’s east coast ports, which will build and service the project. Specifically, MHI Vestas confirmed it will establish its wind turbine pre-assembly operations at Able UK’s Seaton Port in Teesside. Currently, it is expected that total port activity involving all the partners involved in the project will create approximately 100 new jobs and open £16 million in new investment.
Triton Knoll also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ABP to use its Grimsby facility for long-term Operations and Maintenance (O&M) which could support up to 170 direct and indirect long-term jobs.
Finally, Triton Knoll signed a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Danish power company and offshore wind behemoth Ørsted for 100% of the power generated from the wind farm. Ørsted will subsequently handle intra-day fluctuations in volume and prices balancing the power into the grid.
“Ørsted acknowledges innogy as one of the most successful European energy companies,” said Morten Buchgreitz, Executive Vice President, Ørsted Customer Solutions. “As we do ourselves, innogy relies on the expansion of renewable energy to grow its business activities and fight climate changes. Therefore, I’m proud that innogy and its partner companies have entrusted us to handle a 15-year power purchase agreement. I’m very much looking forward to our cooperation.”
“With the signing of this PPA with Ørsted and the financial closure, which we’ve reached today, we’re confident that our flagship Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm has robust, financial security at its heart,” added Hans Bünting, COO Renewables of innogy SE. “The successful delivery of this arrangement with Ørsted also demonstrates the continued success of innogy’s ability to forge valued, strategic partnerships as we continue to grow our offshore portfolio across the globe. While we may compete in some areas of renewables, I’m delighted that we’ve secured this cooperation with Ørsted and look forward to working closely with them in the future.”