The UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) has announced the acquisition of a £236 million stake in a joint venture with E.ON to construct and own the 400MW Rampion offshore wind farm, off the coast of Brighton.
The project has been developed by E.ON, which will continue to own the remaining shares in the joint venture.
Rampion will be constructed 13km off the Sussex coast in the English Channel. It is expected to generate 1,333 GWh of renewable electricity annually once operational; equivalent to the electricity consumption of approximately 300,000 homes.
The wind farm is also forecast to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4,215 kt CO2e across its 25-year lifetime, equivalent to taking 75,000 cars off the road.
Around 300 jobs will be created during the anticipated three-year construction phase of the project. Up to 65 permanent full-time employees will be required to oversee operations and maintenance once the wind farm has been commissioned.
E.ON is the world’s third largest offshore wind operator having completed the construction of seven offshore wind farms totalling 1.2 GW, with another 507 MW currently under construction.
This is GIB’s seventh investment in the UK’s offshore wind sector. Once these projects are operational they will provide over 2,500 MW of renewable electricity generation capacity, enough to power more than two million homes.
Last month, GIB’s subsidiary UK Green Investment Bank Financial Services Limited also announced that it had reached first close on the world’s first offshore wind fund, designed to attract new investors to the UK.
E.ON will provide construction, operations and maintenance as well as energy management services to the project. This includes the delivery of the connection to the National Grid with marine export cables to shore, approximately 26 kilometers of onshore cables and onshore grid substation assets.E.ON will divest these offshore transmission assets under a regulated sales process.GIB was advised by Slaughter and May, DNV GL, PwC and Willis.Shaun Kingsbury, Chief Executive, UK Green Investment Bank, said:
Our investment gives the developer the confidence to begin construction on this important offshore wind project, boosting UK energy supply and generating enough power annually for around three hundred thousand homes.This huge investment is a vote of confidence in the UK, creating local jobs, bringing business opportunities and providing clean, home-grown energy. The UK is the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind, thanks to the certainty the Government is able to provide to attract private finance in partnership with the Green Investment Bank.Tony Cocker, UK Chief Executive, E.ON, said:
This is an important milestone for what is a strategically important project for the UK. At around £1.3bn this investment by E.ON and our partners at the UK Green Investment Bank could be one of the biggest capital projects confirmed in Britain this year and we are proud of the leading role we are continuing to take in helping transform the UK’s energy infrastructure.