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.

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.

Cheapest electricity from offshore
Neart na Gaoithe will generate the cheapest electricity from any offshore wind farm in the UK. Several PPA offers have been received and are under negotiation for the full output of the plant and for the full duration of the CfD contract. The project’s CfD strike price of £114.39 (in 2012 prices) is currently the lowest in the UK and between 18% and 26% below the FID enabling CFD contracts previously awarded. This strongly underpins government policy of driving the price of renewables down for the benefit of consumers.

Planning consent
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 is 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. NnG continues to work with the relevant bodies to ensure that the project has a viable unencumbered consent to allow for financial close in 2018.

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.

Supply Chain
Mainstream’s supply chain structure is close to fully formed. Owner’s Requirements and contracts are close to final agreement with Tier 1 partners.

By successfully bringing NnG through to the end of its development cycle and now progressing towards Financial Close in 2018,

Mainstream has already:

  • Initially selected Tier 1 supply chain partners with proven track records of innovation and execution, to deliver NnG at lowest cost, using best available engineering techniques and development of a new skills base
  • Invited new supply chain organisations to provide alternative proposals; and
  • Embraced innovation with cutting edge technologies such as:
    • The revolutionary Offshore Transformer Module (OTM) eliminates the need for dedicated offshore foundation and platform for the offshore transmission equipment.

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 £680 million 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

Project facts
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.

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