The 450MW Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm project is located off the east coast of Scotland. Mainstream Renewable Power has been developing this project for over eight years, since it was awarded the development rights for the site from The Crown Estate (TCE) in February 2009.
This £2bn project is capable of supplying all the homes in a city the size of Edinburgh with clean energy. It will create over 500 jobs during construction and over 100 permanent jobs once operational. More than £540m will be directly invested in Scotland during the construction phase and a further £610m during the operational phase.
As a nationally-significant infrastructure project, Neart na Gaoithe will help Scotland and the UK meet their climate and energy goals, and develop a world-leading offshore wind sector. We have worked closely with a range of partners on the project, including the RSPB and we look forward to continuing to do so as we take the development forward.
Timeline to commercial operation
Mainstream anticipates NnG will achieve financial close in 2018 with construction starting in 2019 and first commercial supply of electricity occurring in 2021.
Contract for Difference
In February 2015 the project was awarded a Contract for Difference (CfD) by the Low Carbon Contracts Company. The CfD, which was awarded under a highly competitive tendering process, gives the wind farm an inflation-linked strike price for the electricity it produces for a period of fifteen years. NnG was one of only two offshore wind farms to succeed and win a CfD contract through this auction process in early 2015.
The project was awarded planning consent by Scottish Ministers in October 2014. The Scottish Ministers’ decision to consent four offshore wind farms (of which NnG is one) in the Firths of Forth and Tay was subject to a judicial review (“JR”), and an appeal by the Scottish Ministers in respect of the JR was heard in the Court of Session in Scotland in early 2017.
In May 2017 Mainstream welcomed the ruling of the Inner House of the Court of Session in favour of Scottish Ministers, overturning the decision by Lord Stewart.
This is a major step forward for Neart na Gaoithe, which is the only project out of the four offshore wind projects in the Forth and Tay to hold a Contract for Difference (CfD). We plan to move quickly with all our partners to bring this project to construction, and deliver the vitally important jobs and investment that it will create.
Mainstream continues to progress discussions with a number of interested parties (including international equity investors, commercial banks, the European Investment Bank and Export Credit Agencies) to provide the funding to take the wind farm to financial close and into construction.
Mainstream is in the process of selecting Tier 1 supply chain partners with proven track records of innovation and execution, to deliver NnG using best available engineering techniques.
Mainstream is a highly innovative, independent developer of offshore wind and is responsible for showcasing a number of disruptive technologies, such as the twisted jacket foundation and the floating lidar (FLiDAR) pictured right.
Supply chain and jobs
Working with the BEIS and Scottish Enterprise, Neart na Gaoithe will deliver:
- Up to £680m of opportunities to UK and Scotland supply chain
- Up to £1.5 billion of opportunities to UK and Scotland supply chain over O&M
- Well over 500 skilled jobs through the construction phase
- Well over 100 skilled jobs through the O&M phase
Neart na Gaoithe means “Strength of the Wind”.
- When fully operational, it will generate enough electricity to power over 325,000 households. This is equivalent to the domestic electricity needs of its closest city, Edinburgh.
- The closest turbine will be 15.8 kilometres from the shore.
- The NnG site will be approximately 80 square kilometres, with the turbines sited in water depths of 45 – 55 metres.