UK secures 7 GW of new offshore wind, awards CfD to world’s single biggest OWF

The UK Government has awarded Contracts for Difference (CfDs) to five offshore wind projects at a strike price of £37.35/MWh each. One of the five offshore projects, which have a total generation capacity of 7 GW, is Ørsted’s Hornsea Three, for which the developer says is the world’s single biggest offshore wind farm.

Illustration; East Anglia ONE. Source: ScottishPower Renewables

The offshore wind farms awarded CfDs are: the 1,080 MW Inch Cape Phase 1 and Moray West (for 294 MW) in Scotland, and the 2,852 MW Hornsea Three, the 1,396 MW Norfolk Boreas (Phase 1), and the 1,372 MW East Anglia Three in England.

The competitive nature of the scheme has continued to place downward pressure on prices – the per unit (MWh) price of offshore wind secured in this round is almost 70 per cent less than that secured in the first allocation round, held in 2015, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said.

Round 4 was also successful for Wave Hub’s 32 MW TwinHub Floating Offshore Wind Project, which secured a CfD at a strike price of £87.30/MWh.

The almost 7 GW of capacity now secured through offshore wind farms is enough to increase the country’s overall capacity built and under construction by 35 per cent, and take a significant step towards meeting the ambition of having 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030, according to BEIS.

In the fourth round of the Contracts for Difference scheme, the UK Government awarded contracts to renewable energy projects totalling almost 11 GW in capacity, which is enough to power around 12 million homes.

This fourth CfD round had budget funding of £295 million per year (2011-2012 prices) and saw £210 million allocated to the pot supporting offshore wind projects, with £10 million for established technologies and £75 million for less-established technologies, including ringfenced funding of £24 million for floating offshore wind projects and £20 million for tidal stream projects.

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