SSE Renewables and its 50:50 joint venture partner Equinor have reached financial close on the first two phases of the 3.5GW Dogger Bank wind farm project, off the north-east coast of England.
The companies have jointly agreed to invest £6bn ($8bn) to construct the initial two phases of the 3.5GW project.
The Dogger Bank A and B phases of the wind farm are being project financed with gearing of 65% to 70% for the generation assets.
The project will be developed in three 1.2GW phases. The first two phases will be simultaneously constructed to take advantage of their geographical proximity and use of common technology and contractors.
All three phases are slated for completion in March 2026. With a capacity of 1,200MW, each phase is expected to annually generate 6,000GWh.
Equinor New Energy Solutions executive vice-president Pål Eitrheim said: “Reaching financial close on the two first phases of Dogger Bank is a major milestone, demonstrating our commitment to profitable growth within offshore wind.
“The extensive interest from lenders underpins the attractiveness of UK offshore wind assets and confidence in SSE and Equinor.”
Dogger Bank C, which is the third phase of the project, is being developed on a different timescale with financial close to follow at a later stage.
Under the partnership, SSE Renewables will be responsible for the construction of the project while Equinor will lead the wind farm’s operations.
Clean, renewable electricity produced by Dogger Bank will be sufficient to supply 5% of the UK’s demand.
SSE Renewables chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “This investment will help drive a green recovery from coronavirus through the project’s construction over the next five years, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.”