THE Green Investment Bank yesterday unveiled its biggest pay-out since its launch with the £461 million backing for two offshore wind projects.
The investments represent a vote of confidence in a sector that has suffered a few setbacks with projects cancelled and energy company SSE reducing its commitment to renewables.
State-backed GIB, based in Edinburgh and London, is investing £241m alongside Japan’s Marubeni Corporation in the Westermost Rough wind farm off the coast of East Yorkshire. It will acquire a half stake in the project.
Westermost Rough, currently in the early stages of construction, will use turbines almost twice the size of most of those currently operating in UK waters, and will generate enough power for 200,000 homes.
It is also acquiring 10 per cent of the Gwynt y Mor project off the coast of North Wales for £220m from RWE Innogy. This is the biggest of its kind under construction in Europe and, once operational, will generate enough electricity for 400,000 households.
Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive of the GIB, said: “The UK has ambitious plans to build on its position as a world leader in offshore wind. We have two roles to play in supporting those plans: firstly, to directly invest to help developers recycle their capital into the next wave of new renewable energy projects; secondly, to invest on fully commercial terms to create a demonstration effect which others will follow.”
The UK Green Investment Bank was launched in November 2012 with £3.8 billion of funding from the UK government and is the first bank of its kind in the world. It has invested £1.35bn in 18 months, supporting projects worth £4.5bn. Of this total, £670m has been committed so far this year. Yesterday’s investment makes wind energy the largest recipient of support.
Green bank makes biggest investment in wind farms