In May 2018, Energiekontor UK reached financial close on its Withernwick II wind farm in the East Riding of Yorkshire. This project is believed to be the first UK wind farm to be financed without the requirement of government subsidies or support mechanisms. Previously land based wind farms had access to a number of government initiatives to encourage renewable energy deployment. The last UK programme for wind farms above 5MW “Contracts for Difference” (CfD) was closed to onshore wind in 2015.
Peter Szabo, CEO of Energiekontor AG, said, “Our extensive experience and reputation as a trusted partner in the UK market, has once again persuaded a large industrial partner to sign a PPA. The financial close of the Withernwick II project, the UK’s first profitable wind farm under pure market conditions, shows that our strategy to reduce costs by improving efficiency is bearing fruit.
“It also underlines our pioneering role in the quest to realise wind farms and solar parks with a lower levelised cost of electricity than fossil and nuclear alternatives. It is our most important contribution to our vision of a society whose electricity needs are fully covered by renewable energy.”
Energiekontor UK has endeavoured to find a “route to market” by working with stakeholders and power off takers so that permitted developments may be realised. As a result the Withernwick ll project has been fully funded solely with the projected revenues from a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with one of the UK’s leading companies supplying consumer goods. At completion of the wind farm build the company will be supplied with renewable energy from the site, secured by the long term PPA contract.
Acting on behalf of developer Energiekontor, leading renewable energy and infrastructure consultancy, Natural Power has been appointed as Owner’s Engineer for the construction phase of Withernwick Wind Farm Extension, an 8.2 MW extension to the existing wind farm built in 2013. Senvion will supply four MM92 turbines with project finance structured by German lender NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank. Cheetham Hill Construction Ltd started balance of plant construction work on site this month, and the project is scheduled to be commissioned during early 2019.
Ralph Spernagel, Construction Director at Natural Power, said: “We are delighted to be working on another project with Energiekontor, in particular, this ground-breaking subsidy-free scheme. As our industry continues to evolve, and deliver better and more cost-effective renewable energy, we are working hard to be at the forefront and support our clients by providing comprehensive services delivered by our experienced and knowledgeable team to guide and advise our clients in delivering successful projects.”
Natural Power will provide owner’s engineer and project management services during the construction, turbine installation and electrical commissioning phases of the project led by a construction project manager and supported by an onsite resident engineer, with broader services supplied from Natural Power’s diverse range of experts. Additional services include principal designer and CDM 2015 auditing services to support the developer and ensure adherence with health and safety regulations during the balance of plant and turbine supply contract works.
Victoria Allen, Finance and Construction Project Manager at Energiekontor, said: “We are extremely excited to be moving into the construction phase of this ground-breaking project with Natural Power as a key member of the project team.”