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German energy company RWE has entered into a partnership with United Arab Emirates state-owned renewable energy company Masdar to develop the Dogger Bank South offshore wind project, part of the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
The partnership, announced during a ceremony at the UN climate conference COP28 in Dubai, will see Masdar will acquire a 49% stake Dogger Bank South projects. RWE will maintain a controlling 51% share and remain responsible for the development, construction, and operation of the projects. RWE said the deal will reimburse it for 49% of the expenses incurred to date on the project.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak revealed that the deal involves jointly investing up to £11 billion. “This is a huge boost for UK renewables, creating more jobs, helping to power 3 million homes, and increasing our energy security,” Sunak said in a speech.
Located in the North Sea, approximately 100 km off the east coast of England, the Dogger Bank South development consists of two offshore wind projects with a capacity of 1.5 gigawatts (GW) each, enough energy to power up to 3 million homes in the UK annually.
The Dogger Bank South development represents an expansion of the greater Dogger Bank wind farm development. The first three phases, known as A, B and C, are being jointly developed by SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Vårgrønn (20%). Combined, those first three phases will have an installed capacity of 3.6 GW and will be capable of powering up to 6 million homes annually.
Development of Dogger Bank South is already in progress. Consent orders are expected to be submitted in the second quarter of 2024, and construction may potentially begin in 2025. First power is expected in 2029, with the full commissioning targeted for late 2031.
Construction is expected to create over 2,000 full-time equivalent jobs, along with an additional 1,000 direct and indirect jobs during operations.
“The UK is the world’s second largest offshore wind market and offers huge growth potential,” said Masdar’s CEO, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi. The company is planning to expand its wind energy portfolio to reach a total global capacity of 100 GW by 2030.
RWE already operates 10 offshore wind farms in the UK and is currently developing six more with a combined potential capacity of 5.6 GW. The company aims to increase its global offshore wind capacity from 3.3 GW to 10 GW by 2030.
RWE and Masdar have collaborated on projects in the past. In September 2022, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore collaborations on offshore wind projects, both in and outside Germany. Since 2008, Masdar has been a partner in the 630 MW London Array, once the largest offshore wind farm in the world.
“We’re delighted to welcome Masdar onboard as our partner and co-investor in the delivery of our Dogger Bank South projects which, at 3 GW in size, make up RWE’s largest offshore wind development in the UK,” said Markus Krebber, CEO of RWE AG. “With Masdar, we have a strong and renowned partner at our side who shares our ambition to further drive the growth of offshore wind energy.”
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