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Huge offshore Suffolk windfarm to go ahead

The UK offshore energy market had the wind in her sales today on news that a £1.5bn windfarm off the Suffolk coast will become reality.
Huge offshore Suffolk windfarm to go ahead
The project is set to be a big boost to UK PLC

The UK offshore energy market had the wind in her sales today on news that a £1.5bn wind farm off the Suffolk coast will become reality.

RWE Innogy revealed it had found three backers, which will, like RWE, own a 25% stake in the 336 megawatt (Mw) Galloper project.

They are Siemens Financial Services, Macquarie Capital and UK’s Green Investment Bank.

The new project will offer a significant boost to the UK economy and create nearly 800 jobs.

RWE's chief executive Hans Bünting said the deal showed the UK is still a strong market for offshore renewables.

"Siemens, as well as becoming a project partner will also, through their technical division, support key aspects of the project including turbines, turbine installation and maintenance support," he said.

"We welcome GIB, with their experience of supporting renewables ventures and their substantial knowledge of offshore wind financing, back to another offshore partnership, their first ever equity investment being a stake in our Rhyl Flats project.

"Macquarie Capital bring considerable international business and finance acumen as well as a strong track record advising and investing in infrastructure and energy projects globally.."

Galloper has had to ride over a few waves to get to this point.

Located near to its existing sister project Greater Gabbard off the Suffolk coast, it was awarded development rights by The Crown Estate in 2010 and will commence operations by March 2018.

Together the two sites will power over 800,000 homes.

However, its future was thrown into jeopardy last year, when power giant SSE (LON:SSE) pulled out of the project, citing cost and the subsidy environment.

The Green Investment Bank, whose sole shareholder is the UK Government, aims to turn the UK into a greener, stronger economy with this - the UK's first  pre-construction, offshore wind project, finance deal.

The government's 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.

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

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