Enbridge Inc. announced the acquisition of a 24.9% interest in the 400-MW Rampion Offshore Wind Project in the UK. The company’s total investment in the project is expected to be CAD $750 million (£370 million) inclusive of all interest during construction, transaction costs, and a development fee.
The offshore wind project was developed and is being constructed by E.ON Climate & Renewables UK Limited, a subsidiary of E.ON SE, one of the world’s largest utilities and a leading developer of wind energy projects.
Located 13 kilometers off the UK Sussex coast, at its nearest point, the project is backed by revenues from the UK’s fixed-price Renewable Obligation Certificates program and a 15-year power purchase agreement. Comprised of 116 Vestas V112-3.45 MW turbines, construction of the wind farm began in September 2015 and is expected to be fully operational in 2018.
“Offshore wind is a natural next step for Enbridge’s significant wind business,” said Enbridge President and Chief Executive Officer Al Monaco. “We have a well-established renewables business and growing expertise in wind-power technology, construction and operations and this project provides an attractive opportunity to partner with E.ON, an industry leading constructor and operator of offshore wind projects, and Green Investment Bank with its experience of supporting offshore wind ventures. Further developing our expertise in this business will position Enbridge to participate in future offshore developments.”
“Our investment in Rampion Offshore Wind is a strong fit with our investor value proposition and advances a number of key corporate priorities,” added Mr. Monaco. “Rampion provides a timely and effective entry point to the European offshore wind business and it supports our objective of developing new platforms that extend and diversify our industry leading growth beyond 2019. The European offshore wind business comes with strong market fundamentals, sound commercial underpinnings and attractive returns. Once the project goes into service in 2018, we expect it to be immediately accretive to available cash flow from operations and earnings per share.”
Over the next decade, some EUR100 billion of investment is forecast in the European offshore wind industry. The UK is a European leader in the implementation of measures to reduce carbon emissions, including the promotion of renewable technologies, and leads all other European countries in the adoption of offshore wind technology. There are presently 32 operating offshore wind farms in the UK, representing 4.4 GW or 56% of the European offshore wind market with another 13 farms under construction.
Under the terms of the agreement Enbridge will become one of three shareholders in Rampion Offshore Wind Limited, which owns the project. The UK Green Investment Bank plc holds a 25% interest, and E.ON will retain the balance of 50.1%.
E.ON will manage construction of the project under a Construction Management Agreement. Rampion Offshore Wind Project is E.ON’s tenth offshore wind project worldwide and its sixth in the UK. It will be operated by E.ON under a 25-year Management and Operations Management Agreement.
E.ON currently operates a four GW wind portfolio across the globe. Enbridge and E.ON are partners in the 200-MW Magic Valley Wind Project in Texas and the 200-MW Wildcat Wind Project located in Indiana. Enbridge holds an 80% interest in both projects and both are operated by E.ON.
Enterprise wide, Enbridge has invested over CAD $4 billion in renewable power generation and transmission in the past decade. The company’s portfolio comprises 1,800-MW net generating capacity across North America from 14 wind farms, four solar farms, one geothermal project, and the Montana-Alberta transmission line.
Enbridge’s financial advisor for this transaction was Access Corporate Finance Partners LLP and its legal advisor was Dentons UKMEA LLP.
Filed Under: Offshore wind, Projects