The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has revealed plans for equity investments worth £461m in offshore wind projects that will use “next generation” turbines manufactured by Siemens, which itself has plans to boost the sector.
GIB’s investment includes a 50% stake in the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm in Yorkshire, developed by DONG Energy, and a 10% stake in the Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm in Wales, owned by RWE Innogy.
The announcement follows Siemens’ plans to invest significantly in a new £310m offshore wind project in Hull.
Shaun Kingsbury, chief of the UK Green Investment Bank, 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.”
Commenting on the news, business secretary Vince Cable said, “Both the Westermost Rough and Gwynt y Môr projects will use Siemens turbines which demonstrates why their decision last week to build new manufacturing facilities in the UK was so important.
“Through our industrial strategy we are working in partnership with business to give companies the confidence to invest, securing high skilled manufacturing jobs and a stronger economy.”
Green campaigners have welcomed the news, saying the investment will give a much-needed boost to the sector.
Nick Molho, head of climate and energy policy at WWF-UK, said, “Coupled with a decision by Siemens last week to develop an offshore wind factory in the UK, this is helping to create the conditions needed to cut the cost of offshore wind in the years to come and provide important benefits for our economy.”