Mainstream developed two offshore wind farm projects in Europe – the 450 megawatt Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm off the coast of Scotland and the 4 gigawatt Hornsea offshore wind farm off the east coast of England.
Mainstream’s offshore business model involves identifying an area of sea, obtaining a licence to develop it and get the full planning permissions to build a wind farm there. In parallel with this, we negotiate all the major construction and services contracts in order to take the project to a stage where it is fully designed, fully engineered and all the key components are secured. This includes things such as securing wind turbines, cables, high voltage DC interconnections and vessels needed for installation. Over the next decade there will be a shortage of things such as vessels and cables as demand outstrips supply.
So all the big ticket items will be secured and we will have a fully consented, fully planned and permitted site offshore with all the building blocks fully engineered, fully designed and a fully procured supply chain. At this stage we sell the project so that the owner is ready immediately to reach financial close and build the project. As an example, DONG Energy signed a deal with Mainstream to acquire a 33.3% share of the projects with an option to acquire the remaining 66.7%. In February 2015, DONG Energy acquired the remaining 66.7% option for Project One. And, on 21 August 2015, SMart Wind was sold to DONG Energy after successful negotiations. In 2018, Mainstream sold its 450 megawatt offshore wind farm in Scotland to the EDF Group.