SSE Renewables, with partner Equinor, has reached financial close on Dogger Bank C, the third phase of what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, located in the UK North Sea.
The two firms are already building the first two phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, off the north east coast of England which, once all three phases are complete in March 2026, will be the largest in the world.
Total investment in Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be around £9 billion (around £3 billion for phase C including offshore transmission).
"SSE's share of investment forms part of its recent Net Zero Acceleration Plan, which included fully funded £12.5bn strategic capital investment plans to 2026 alongside ambitious 2031 targets, aligned with net zero and 1.5 degrees," SSE said.
Dogger Bank C has a capacity of 1,200MW and will generate around 6,000GWh a year. In total, Dogger Bank will produce enough clean, renewable electricity to supply 5% of the UK’s demand, equivalent to powering six million UK homes.
SSE is leading on construction across all three phases and Equinor will operate the wind farm once operational.
On November 2, 2021, SSE and Equinor announced the sell-down of a combined 20% share in Dogger Bank C to Eni (10% each) for a total consideration of £140 million.
Eni will enter the asset effective from the financial close of project financing. The transaction is expected to complete in Q1 2022, subject to regulatory and lenders' approvals and customary purchase price adjustments. Once the transaction is complete, the new overall shareholding in Dogger Bank C will be SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni (20%).
SSE said that, with the strong interest from lenders, Dogger Bank C was able to secure competitive terms. The final group of lenders, comprising 28 banks and three export credit agencies, includes experienced lenders in the sector along with relationship lenders of both SSE and Equinor. The majority of lenders are the same as for Dogger Bank A and B.
Building most offshore wind capacity
SSE has noted it is currently leading the construction of more offshore wind than any other company in the world and aims to enable the delivery of over 25% of the UK’s 40GW offshore wind target by 2030, while also exporting its capabilities overseas.
"SSE’s recent Net Zero Acceleration Programme is targeting an increase of 4GW of renewables installed capacity (net) over the 5 years to 2026, doubling installed renewables capacity to 8GW (net)," the company said.
"This provides a platform for ambitious new 2031 targets including a fivefold increase in renewables output to 50TWh, maintaining a sustained renewables pipeline in excess of 15GW, and a trebling of SSE’s owned renewables capacity to over 13GW (net) from c.4GW today," it added.
"Dogger Bank Wind Farm is the largest of SSE Renewables’ projects currently in construction. SSE Renewables is currently also leading the construction of the Seagreen offshore wind farm (1,075MW, SSE Renewables share 49%), which will be Scotland’s largest and the world’s deepest fixed bottom offshore wind farm on completion. SSE’s offshore wind development project Berwick Bank (up to 4.1GW, fully owned) would also be one of the world’s largest when completed later this decade," SSE said.
Onshore cable installation civil works for Dogger Bank C will start in Q1 2022; construction of the onshore converter station will start in Q2 2022. Offshore export cable installation will start in Q1 2024 and offshore platform installation will start in Q2, 2024.
Foundation installation is expected to start in Q3, 2024. The Dogger Bank C will feature GE Haliade-X 14MW wind turbines, with turbine installation planned for Q2, 2025. First power is anticipated in Q3, 2025 and full power in Q1, 2026.
Onshore construction is currently underway for Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, with offshore construction on Dogger Bank A due to begin in Q2 2022. First power is expected in Summer 2023 and Summer 2024 for Dogger Bank A and B, respectively, with commercial operations to follow around six months later.