E.ON and Masdar have joined forces to partner in the London Array offshore wind farm project – which, when built, will be the world’s largest offshore scheme. The two partners will also extend their relationship further and intend to work together across a range of potential projects that will complement their existing renewable energy strategies.
Masdar has entered into the London Array scheme through a joint venture agreement with E.ON, which currently owns half of the landmark project. DONG Energy owns the other half. Under the agreement, Masdar has purchased 40 per cent of E.ON’s half share of the London Array scheme, giving Masdar a 20% stake in the project overall. Masdar will become an important shareholder in the project which could significantly expand the UK’s renewable energy capacity.
The agreement signed in London brings together the two successful companies’ complementary resources and experience to partner with each other on a wide range of renewable energy projects. Initially, the focus of the agreement will be on wind power and the UK’s London Array project. As the partnership develops over the coming months, the companies expect to be able to announce a series of exciting projects across the broad spectrum of renewable energy. Early discussions about potential projects have focused on the area of carbon emission reduction. Both companies would look to jointly develop JI/CDM projects that would reflect both parties’ technical expertise in these areas.
E.ON CEO Dr. Wulf Bernotat said: “The London Array offshore wind farm scheme is a pioneering project and marks a significant increase in scale for offshore wind farms in the UK, and also for E.ON. We welcome the Government’s continued support for the London Array scheme as we move forward with our partners to realize this important project. As with all major steps forward in our industry, the project will raise important challenges and the lessons we learn will be vital for the development of the next generation of offshore projects. We have secured in Masdar a strong partner to work with us on the London Array scheme and on future renewable energy projects which will help push the industry to its next stage. With this aim, E.ON plans to invest €6 billion by 2010 to help move renewable energy projects from boutique to an industrial scale.”
“London Array is an important investment for Masdar into the wind sector. We believe that the offshore wind market will be a major force in the future and this is a very opportune time for us to enter this developing segment of the renewable energy market,” said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar.
“Masdar has always had a strategy of partnering with leading companies in their field. Our partnership with E.ON is a strong testament of this philosophy and of our commitment to this industry segment. Through this project, we also hope to build a partnership with the UK government to drive the future growth of the renewable energy sector for the benefit of both our economies.”
A delegation from E.ON and Masdar will meet senior UK Government Ministers and officials later today at Downing Street to discuss the progress on the project and to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to the London Array scheme.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “I very much welcome Masdar's decision to invest in renewable energy in the UK. This is an excellent example of the partnership we need between oil producing and oil consuming countries to develop new energy sources and technologies, diversifying their economies and reducing our dependence on carbon. The scale and vision of the London Array is groundbreaking, and places the UK at the forefront of offshore wind development”.
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband said "The London Array project, at 1000 megawatts, will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world. The UK is a world leader in offshore wind technology and, over the next decade, offshore wind will make an important contribution to meeting the UK's renewable energy target and to the security of our energy supply. Offshore wind is a rapidly growing sector, with the potential to provide up to 70,000 new, green jobs".
The London Array project is situated in the outer Thames Estuary, east of London and will consist of up to 271 turbines, generating enough power for three-quarters of a million homes and contributing significantly to the UK’s renewable energy targets. Once given the green light, the scheme will be built more than 20km (12 miles) off the Kent and Essex coasts. The wind farm will be installed on a 90 square mile site and will be built in two stages. It is hoped the first stage will be completed in 2012 and will consist of up to 175 turbines. The second stage will add enough capacity to bring the total to 1,000MW.