RenewableUK, the trade association representing the UK wind industry, says that an announcement by RWE Innogy of new project partners and investors for the Galloper offshore wind farm off the coast of Suffolk combined with the recent announcement by Dong Energy that it has made a final investment decision to build Walney Extension offshore wind farm off the coast of Cumbria will bring the total of offshore wind capacity either operational or under construction, or with financial support fully secured, to over 10 GW, double the existing capacity.
RenewableUK’s director of policy for Economics and Regulation, Dr Gordon Edge, said "The UK is the number one destination for offshore wind investors. The government’s advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change, is now recommending we install 1-2 GW of offshore wind a year throughout the 2020s to meet our carbon reduction goals, so we could reach as much as 30 GW by 2030. However, if we’re to continue to deliver ambitious offshore infrastructure projects throughout the 2020s, we need a clear plan from government stating how much offshore wind capacity it wants over the next decade. We’ve had some encouraging signals so far, but we need details of how the financial framework is going to work for offshore wind to deliver at scale, as a key part of the government’s industrial strategy."
– One of the investors is Siemens, which is to supply, install and commission 56 wind turbines for the Galloper wind farm. The owners of the 336 MW plant are RWE, UK Green Investment Bank, Macquarie Capital and Siemens Financial Services (SFS), each with a 25% stake. Siemens will also be responsible for servicing the wind turbines for a 15-year period. The total investment costs of the Galloper project are £1.5 billion.
Installation of the SWT-6.0-154 wind turbines for the Galloper project is scheduled to start in May 2017, with full operation due in March 2018. Prompt completion is necessary so that the offshore project can still qualify for remuneration with ROC (Renewable Obligations Certificates) of the 2.5 round for public tenders.
The company is working on various levers to reduce the cost of offshore wind power further. By 2020, Siemens aims to have technologies available that will make it possible to generate electric power at a cost of less than 10 Euro cents per kilowatt hour. Improvements will be made not only to the wind turbines themselves; the company is also focusing on innovations in connecting the offshore installations to the grid and in servicing.
The Galloper offshore wind power plant is to be erected around 27 km off the coast of Suffolk, and its wind turbines will be constructed on monopiles in water between 27 and 36 metres deep.
The project is an extension of the already on-line Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm, capacity 504 MW, where 140 Siemens wind turbines have been generating power since 2012.