UK signs-off FIDE contracts

Eight major renewables projects – including five offshore wind farms – have now signed the first contracts under the UK government’s electricity market reforms (EMR), energy minister Michael Fallon said in a written statement to parliament.

Fallon says the contracts, awarded under the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) final investment decision enabling for renewables (FIDE) process, will enable project developers to take final or other critical investment decisions.

The five wind farms are Dong Energy’s 1.2GW Hornsea 1,660MW Walney Extension, and 258MW Burbo Bank Extension projects; SSE/Repsol’s 664MW Beatrice wind farm in the Outer Moray Firth; and Statoil/Statkraft’s 402MW Dudgeon project off the Norfolk coast.

The three other schemes comprise two biomass conversion projects: namely Drax’s 645MW and Lynemouth Power’s 420MW biomass conversion projects; and MGT Power’s 299MW Teesside dedicated biomass project with combined heat and power.

Fallon says the UK government is committed to working actively with project developers in order to avoid delays while EMR is put in place.

The minister says the eight projects will provide up to £12bn ($20.1bn) of private sector investment, and support 8,500 jobs by 2020. 

In total they will provide around 15TWh, or about 14% of the renewable electricity the government expects to come forward by 2020.

The contracts were laid in both Houses of Parliament this week.