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23 August 2022

Evaluating the case for the world’s biggest offshore wind project

How do we equip clients with the information they need to make investments?

We were appointed as lending markets advisor by Dogger Bank, on behalf of the project owners, SSE Renewables and Equinor. They wanted to assess the feasibility of building an offshore wind project at Dogger Bank, a site 130km off the north-east cost of England. We were asked to help the lending group to understand the long-term outlook for offshore wind in the UK to help them decide whether to build the project or not. If approved, Dogger Bank would be the world’s largest offshore wind project, and the UK’s largest single source of renewable energy, providing 5% of the UK’s total demand for electricity by 2026 – enough for 6 million homes. 

From market advice to financial close, we provided advice throughout the project

We started by giving the lending group advice on the UK’s offshore wind market. We looked at the potential for negative power prices, transmission systems costs, routes-to-market, and extra revenue streams. With this first report complete, we were asked to provide commercial and market advice in support of the project’s bid in the UK government’s Contract for Difference (CfD) auction. CfDs are the government’s main mechanism to support low-carbon electricity generation, incentivising investment in renewables by protecting both developers and consumers from high costs. We assessed the commercial performance of offshore wind turbine technology, including the latest GE turbines and high voltage cables, which if approved, would be used for the first time on the latest phase of Dogger Bank. 

Our energy markets advisory team have built in-house models over decades, capturing a huge array of variables. Their research includes inputs on everything from price trends to policy, market analysis to manufacturer and technology research. We collaborate in granular detail with stakeholders from every side of the market and invite feedback on our work. By incorporating all this data into our reports, we’re able to produce research that the market values and looks forward to. On this project, we built on the foundation of this work to offer specific advice on the economics and commercial viability of Dogger Bank. 

CfDs secured for all three phases of the project

With the advice we provided, and many other inputs, the project owners, lenders and investors decided to proceed with Dogger Bank. We helped our client reach financial close for all three phases of the project, securing 15-year CfDs with delivery between 2023-2025. Construction on the project began in Q1 2022 and turbine installations will begin in Q2 2025. The first power to be produced is due in summer 2023 and Dogger Bank remains the world’s largest offshore wind project.

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