The European Investment Bank, Europe’s long-term investment institution, has agreed to provide GBP 225 million for the Galloper Wind Farm Ltd (GWFL) to be constructed 27 km off the Suffolk Coast. Once operational the offshore wind farm will be capable of providing enough clean energy to supply up to 336,000 homes from 56 of the world’s largest wind turbines. The project also represents the UK’s first pre-construction offshore wind project finance deal.
This is the first UK project to be backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe. EFSI was established earlier this year by the European Investment Bank and the European Commission and will enable increased lending and attract private capital for crucial projects by the European Investment Bank in strategic sectors such as renewable energy, digital infrastructure, transport and R&D, as well as financing for SMEs.
“The Galloper wind farm is the first UK project to be directly supported by the EFSI initiative. This reflects both the quality of EFSI projects and the strong green focus of the EUR 315 billion investment scheme. Projects such as Galloper demonstrate the leading role of the European offshore sector and confirm the EIB’s commitment to finance investment in green growth. We are pleased to have worked with a world-class sponsor group including Green Investment Bank, and alongside a group of leading project finance banks, to ensure that Galloper could be financed in record time.” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.
Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission, and responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "The Galloper project will help households and businesses across the UK access cleaner, renewable energy. At the same time, the construction of the wind farm will generate hundreds of jobs. This project is innovative and ambitious, and it is a great example of why the Investment Plan was created. I hope other project promoters across the EU hearing this news are now inspired to contact the EIB with their proposals."
Hans Bünting, CEO of RWE Innogy the company leading the construction of the project on behalf of GWFL said: “Today’s announcement is the culmination of many months of successful negotiations with our partners, and investors including the European Investment Bank, and shows that the UK is still a strong market for offshore renewables. I look forward to working together with our new partners to utilise our collective experience and expertise to realise the successful construction of Galloper wind farm.”
The £1.5 billion UK renewable energy project is set to create over 700 jobs during construction and nearly a hundred once operational. Already more than GBP 150 million has been spent during development of the scheme and once operational Galloper will use 56 six megawatt turbines.
The European Investment Bank is supporting the Galloper project alongside a consortium of 12 commercial banks.
Over the last 5 years the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 5 billion for investment in offshore wind farms in the North Sea off the UK, Belgian, Dutch and German coasts, as well as offshore transmission links to connect offshore windfarms to national electricity networks.