Renewable energy consultancy SgurrEnergy, recently supported the Nordsee One offshore wind farm to financial close, providing technical advisory services to a consortium of international commercial lenders involved in the non-recourse financing. The 332-megawatt (MW) project, located around 40 kilometers North of the island of Juist in the German North Sea, is the first non-recourse financed German offshore wind farm to reach financial close since the Butendiek project in 2013—a project for which SgurrEnergy also provided technical advisory services.
SgurrEnergy’s scope as independent lenders’ technical advisor commenced in early 2013, providing independent advice to the lenders and sponsors on contracting strategy, contract terms, construction and operating risks, and wind turbine technology. Advice was also provided on risk quantification and mitigation measures, with independent schedule analysis and contingency sizing using quantitative risk assessment, providing balanced, as well as robust and reliable advice on cost and contingency sizing.
The project, developed by Northland Power Inc. (which owns 85% of the project company) and RWE Innogy GmbH (that owns the remaining 15%), will consist of 54 Senvion 6.2M126 wind turbines installed on monopole foundations, with inter array cabling and an offshore substation.
The project continues a current industry trend to install 6-MW+ class turbines on monopile foundations. This technique was also used at the Westermost Rough wind farm in the UK North Sea recently and is considered an important contributor in reducing the costs of offshore wind. Once operational, Nordsee One is expected to generate enough energy to power over 400,000 homes, making an important contribution to the German energy transition and global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
KfW IPEX-Bank and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., acting as technical banks on the transactions, said: “KfW IPEX-Bank and BTMU were very satisfied with the dedication and professionalism of the whole SgurrEnergy team.”
Pierre Lestienne, managing director (CFO) of Nordsee One GmbH, and Felix Gschnell, commercial manager of Nordsee One GmbH, said: “Getting SgurrEnergy involved in the early stages of project development was a good decision to bring the project directly on a good track from both technical and bankability points of view. This also helped the project to be ready in advance for the lenders’ due diligence process which eased, to a certain extent, the financing process.”
Raya Peterson, principal consultant at SgurrEnergy’s Hamburg office and project manager of the technical due diligence, said: “This is a milestone project for the German offshore wind industry and we’re delighted to see this project successfully reach financial close. We’ve worked closely with the project and lenders for the past two years to ensure that the lenders’ requirements are reflected and the project is sufficiently de-risked to reach financial close. We are proud to be involved in this notable offshore development and look forward to supporting the project through the construction phase, on its road to operation.”
SgurrEnergy has now been appointed to provide construction monitoring services on behalf of the lenders during the execution phase, which is due to commence following financial close and last until 2017.
Director of advisory services at SgurrEnergy, Simon Luby, said: “This assignment further confirms our position as one of the world’s leading offshore renewable advisors, once more working alongside our experienced colleagues at KfW IPEX-Bank and BTMU. The quantitative risk analysis tools we have developed allowed the sponsors to understand the cost impacts of a wide range of different risks and contract strategy options, as well as providing lenders with a step-change in how risk advice is provided.
The technology and contracting strategies now being employed in the industry are making significant positive differences to project risk profiles and the costs of energy from offshore wind; the German offshore wind sector continues to go from strength to strength.”
Filed Under: News, Offshore wind, Projects