RWE Innogy has secured �1.5bn in funds for the project with its four backers

Galloper offshore wind finally secures backers

The Galloper extension to the Greater Gabbard wind farm is finally set to go ahead with new backers after years of uncertainty around the project.

The 56 turbine extension, which will be constructed 23 kilometres off the coast of Suffolk, was originally agreed upon as a joint project between energy firms RWE Innogy and SSE in May 2013.

However, in early 2014, SSE pulled out of the project during a raft of cost cutting measures. RWE subsequently left the project as well in October of the same year before reconsidering and announcing it was searching for other backers in December.

Today, RWE announced three new partners for the 336MW offshore wind farm project, the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB), Siemens Financial Services and Macquarie Capital, with all becoming 25% joint equity partners. The partnership has secured £1.5bn in funds from a consortium of 12 commercial banks and the European Investment Bank.

Construction is set to commence next month which will create around 700 jobs followed by around 90 jobs once operational.

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom said: "This is fantastic news for the region and the whole of the UK, reflecting the fact that we are open for business and the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind. This milestone shows how the UK's offshore wind industry is going from strength to strength."

Ed Northam, head of investment banking at the GIB, said: "This is another significant milestone in the development of the UK offshore wind industry in a year that has already seen two major projects come online and construction commence on another.

“The transaction reinforces our relationship with RWE and further highlights the impressive list of companies that are investing in the sector.

“It is the second investment in offshore wind that GIB has made at FID in the space of six months, demonstrating the role that we continue to play in making sure that complex but important green infrastructure projects can proceed."

Siemens will supply and install the 56, six megawatt turbines for project and deliver a 15 year maintenance contract. The project is expected to commence operations by March 2018.

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