Ecotricity picks RO for Heckington

UK developer Ecotricity has decided to build the 54MW wind farm at Heckington Fen in eastern England under the existing Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme rather than applying for a Contract for Difference (CfD).

Heckington Fen was one of just two onshore wind plants to make a list of UK renewables projects potentially eligible for an early CfD under the so-called Final Investment Decision Enabling (FIDE) mechanism.

The UK’s Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) introduced a grace period until March 2018 for developers negotiating tricky radar or grid connections, allowing Ecotricity to commission the wind farm under RO rather than CfD.

“We have extensive experience developing wind farms under the Renewables Obligation and with DECC confirming the 12 month grace period, we won’t need to use the new CfD mechanism,” says Ecotricity founder Dale Vince.

“Contracts for Difference come with new risks and uncertainties which it is difficult to quantify. It's not just because it's new, it's a very different approach and it introduces a lot of new risk for projects,” he adds.

“While we will have to deal with CfDs eventually – as the only game in town – for now we have the choice and the RO is a far simpler and less risky process.”

Located in Lincolnshire, Heckington Fen would be one of the biggest onshore wind farms in Britain and would almost double Ecotricity’s generating capacity.