BORIS Johnson’s dream to make Britain the “Saudi Arabia of wind” picked up a gust today when the world’s largest offshore wind farm moved closer to opening.
SSE and Equinor has raised £5.5 billion from a consortium that includes 29 banks to launch Dogger Bank Wind Farm, due to complete in 2026. Today the owners said two of three key financial stages on the ambitious project are complete.
Dogger Bank is 130km off the north coast – it has already created 320 jobs in the North East.
SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies thinks Dogger will power six million homes a year.
He said: “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.”
Prime Minister Johnson said last month that he thinks offshore wind can produce enough electricity to power every home in the UK within a decade.
Dogger Bank Wind Farm was awarded exclusive development rights for fifty years in 2010 by the Crown Estate.
Today’s development will attract close interest from the City, which is eyeing wind farms as potential lucrative investment opportunities.
The investing banks include Lloyds and NatWest, both of which are seen to be repaying debts to society incurred when they needed a bail out in 2008 in the midst of the financial crisis.
Once operational, Dogger Bank is expected to supply 5% of the UK’s power needs.