UK Green Investment Bank buys stake in Sheringham Shoal …
The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has bought a 20% stake in Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm, England, for 240m. The 317MW wind farm is owned by Statkraft and operator Statoil through Scira Offshore Energy. After the deal, Statoil and Statkraft will own a 40% stake each in the project.
Sheringham Shoal is located in the Greater Wash area, between 17km and 23km off the coast of Norfolk. It has been operating since October 2012. The wind farm generates more than 1.1TWh of net renewable electricity annually, which is sufficient to power around 220,000 homes.
GIB sees the investment as part of a wider strategy to strengthen the UK offshore wind sector. The sale will provide Statoil and Statkraft with funds that can be invested in new renewable projects. The bank expects the move to also attract new investors into the sector.
GIB plans to create an operating offshore wind fund and transfer the stake in Sheringham to the fund as seed asset. UK GIB CEO Shaun Kingsbury said: “This is an important investment for the UK offshore wind sector in two respects. “Firstly, it allows two strategically important investors, Statkraft and Statoil, to take part of their investment in an operating project and reinvest it in other projects.
“GIB sees the investment as part of a wider strategy to strengthen the UK offshore wind sector. The sale will provide Statoil and Statkraft with funds that can be invested in new renewable projects.” “Secondly, we intend, in time, to transfer the asset to our proposed operating offshore wind fund, which is intended to attract new investors and new capital to the UK.”
GIB has so far invested around 620m in five offshore wind projects in the UK, with a total capacity of more than 1.8GW. Statkraft and Statoil have plans to develop more offshore wind projects in the UK, including the 402MW Dudgeon offshore wind project under construction just off the Norfolk coast. It is expected to be commissioned in 2017.
Statkraft senior vice-president for offshore wind lav Hetland said: “As Europe’s leader in renewable energy and a long-term investor in the UK, we have firm growth ambitions in the UK’s offshore wind sector.
“This agreement enables further investments in project development while at the same time maintaining our industrial role as operator of Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm.”
Image: Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm generates over 1.1TWh of net renewable electricity annually.
Photo: courtesy of A O Neill / Statoil.