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DONG Energy Sell Half Of Race Bank Offshore Wind Farm To Macquarie

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Farr Wind Farm by Steve Abraham via flickr

DONG Energy has agreed to divest 50% of its 573 megawatt UK offshore wind farm, Race Bank, to Macquarie.

The wind farm project will be sold to Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 and Macquarie Capital, the principal investment arm of Macquarie Group – with equal interests. As part of the transaction DONG Energy and Macquarie have agreed a framework for sharing construction risk. Race Bank is currently in advanced stages of construction and is expected to be fully commissioned in 2018.

The total transaction proceeds, consisting of the acquisition of a 50% ownership share and commitment to fund 50% of the project CAPEX including transmission assets, amount to approx. GBP 1.6 billion. The proceeds are payable from 2016 until completion of the project, which is expected in 2018 and is funded by a combination of project finance debt and equity.

“I welcome Macquarie as partner on Race Bank. They have successfully invested in infrastructure projects world-wide and have experience in offshore wind from previous investments,” said Samuel Leupold, Executive Vice President and CEO of Wind Power at DONG Energy, adding: “We have seen a high level of interest from a number of potential investors in Race Bank. This proves that our partnership model continues to be attractive.”

Mark Dooley, Head of Energy and Infrastructure, Macquarie Capital Europe added: “We are delighted to partner with DONG Energy on the Race Bank Offshore Wind Farm. DONG Energy is an industry leader and pioneer in offshore wind power development globally. Macquarie Group launched in the UK in 1989 and has since invested GBP 6 billion of capital into European renewables – and this further demonstrates our ongoing focus and commitment to the offshore wind sector.”

Martin Stanley, Global Head of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, commented: “We have a long and successful history of investing in renewable energy around the world. Our funds have invested in wind farms, biomass power plants, photo-voltaic and hydro-electric facilities together with landfill gas generation. This investment is being made by our fifth European infrastructure fund which reached a final close earlier this year.”

DONG Energy will manage the completion of the construction phase under a construction management agreement. DONG Energy has also entered into an agreement to provide operations and maintenance services from its O&M base in Grimsby and to provide a route to market for the power production and green certificates for Macquarie’s 50% share of Race Bank.

Following the 50% divestment of Race Bank, and in combination with other factors, DONG Energy has increased its EBITDA guidance for 2016. A separate company announcement has been issued simultaneously.

Facts about Race Bank

• The wind farm will be located approximately 16.8 miles off Blakeney Point on the North Norfolk coast and 17.4 miles off the Lincolnshire coast at Chapel St Leonards.
• The wind farm is being built out of DONG Energy’s construction base in the
Grimsby Fish Dock and will be operated from DONG Energy’s O&M base in the Grimsby Royal Dock.
• The wind farm will consist of 91 Siemens 6MW wind turbines with performance-enhancing features.
• The wind farm will have a capacity of 573MW and will produce enough electricity to power more than 400,000 British households every year.
• The wind farm is expected to be fully commissioned in 2018.
• A final investment decision regarding the wind farm was taken by DONG Energy in June 2015.

Energy

Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?

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sustainable wood burning ideas

Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?

Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.

Is Biofuel Green?

One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.

Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?

Homegrown Technology

Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.

Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.

Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.

Benefits Of Biomass

The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.

Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.

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Energy

7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees

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As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.

After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:

Financial Advising

One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.

Life Insurance

While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.

Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies

Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.

The Ability To Work Remotely

It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.

Health Insurance

Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.

Unlimited Time Off

This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.

A Full Pantry

Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.

Final Thoughts

Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!

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