Dogger Bank Owners Close Largest Ever Offshore Wind Project Financing

Equinor and SSE have reached financial close on the first two phases of the Dogger Bank wind farm project, representing in aggregate the largest offshore wind project financing to date globally.

The 3.6 GW Dogger Bank offshore wind project is divided into three 1.2 GW phases, Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B, and Dogger Bank C. The wind farm is located more than 130 kilometres off the Yorkshire coast, the UK.

Total investment in the first two phases of the project will be around GBP 6 billion (EUR 6.73 billion), including offshore transmission capex of around GBP 830 million per phase, the developers said.

“Reaching financial close on the two first phases of Dogger Bank is a major milestone, demonstrating our commitment to profitable growth within offshore wind. The extensive interest from lenders underpins the attractiveness of UK offshore wind assets and confidence in SSE and Equinor,” said Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s executive vice president of New Energy Solutions.

”As the wind farm’s future operator, we are proud to take this big step forward in delivering what will be the backbone of a growing wind hub in the North Sea.”

SSE Renewables and Equinor are jointly developing the project through a 50:50 joint venture company – Dogger Bank Wind Farm. SSE Renewables is leading the construction, and Equinor will lead on the wind farm’s operations.

“Achieving financial close for the first two phases of the world’s largest wind farm is a huge accomplishment and, alongside reaching Seagreen 1 financial close earlier this year, represents significant progress towards achieving our goal of trebling our renewable output by 2030,” Alistair Philips-Davies, SSE Chief Executive, said.

Dogger Bank A and B are being constructed at the same time to take advantage of the synergies resulting from their geographical proximity and use of common technology and contractors, the developers said.

As such, the two phases are being financed concurrently with all lenders, 29 banks and three export credit agencies, participating in each phase in equal proportions.

The third phase, Dogger Bank C, is being developed on a different timescale with financial close to follow by the end of 2021.

Dogger Bank A and B will feature 190 Haliade-X 13 MW turbines scheduled to deliver the first electricity in 2023. The wind farm is slated for full commissioning in 2026.

Photo: GE Renewable Energy/Illustration