Greater Gabbard

Germany-based RWE Innogy is to develop the 336MW Galloper offshore wind farm in the UK, along with its three partners UK Green Investment Bank (GIB), Siemens Financial Services and Macquarie Capital.

The firms have each acquired a 25% stake for the offshore wind project, which is expected to cost around £1.5bn.

The project has been planned for set up about 27km away from the Suffolk coast and will have the capacity to meet the energy requirements of around 336,000 British households.

Financing for the project has also been closed with £1.37bn of debt facilities secured from a consortium of 12 commercial banks and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Construction works for the project are expected to start from this month (November).

UK energy minister Andrea Leadsom said: "This is fantastic news for the region and the whole of the UK, reflecting the fact that we are open for business and the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind.

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"This milestone shows how the UK’s offshore wind industry is going from strength to strength."

"This milestone shows how the UK’s offshore wind industry is going from strength to strength."

The project is an extension of the operational Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm and will be equipped with 56 Siemens-manufactured wind turbines of the 6MW class.

In addition to delivering the turbines, Siemens will lso be responsible for servicing them for 15 years.

VBMS is a strategic cable-laying joint venture by Royal Boskalis Westminster (Boskalis) and VolkerWessels, and will be offering export cabling for the project.

Of the two contracts awarded to the JV, the first one is for setting up two 45km export cables for the Galloper offshore wind farm, which will join it to the mainland, while the second contract entitles it to supply and install 56 inter-array cables.

Image: Construction works for the Galloper project are expected to start from this month. Photo: courtesy of RWE Innogy.