Dec 5, 2013 - Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power said yesterday its 450-MW Neart Na Gaoithe wind project off the Scottish coast was one of the few allowed to apply for the Contract for Difference (CfD) programme in the UK before its official launch at end-2014.
The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on Wednesday unveiled the names of the projects that will be eligible to submit application for CfDs, under which investors will receive a compensation if the wholesale electricity prices drop via the so called "strike prices". The state lifted the preferential rates till 2019 for electricity from offshore wind stations to GBP 140/MWh for 2018/19 from the previous GBP 135/MW. For the preceding years the rate remains unchanged from the draft at GBP 155 per MWh for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 periods, followed by GBP 150/MWh for 2016/17 and GBP 140/MWh for 2017/18.
Mainstream will be able to proceed with its application for the 450-MW project and secure the CfD by April 2014, according to the press release. The company’s CEO and executive director Andy Kinsella said that Mainstream will next year be able to achieve financial closure on the project and initiate construction in 2015. It first needs to received the offshore planning determination, he noted.
Last month Mainstream said it would deploy a floating light detection and ranging (LiDAR) device that will gather wind data for the scheme. Once completed, the wind park will produce enough electricity to meet 3.7% of Scotland’s power demand. The wind farm will be powered by 72 to 90 turbines, depending on the model to be chosen.
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