Siemens set for Neart na Gaoithe

Ireland’s Mainstream Renewable Power (MRP) has lined up Siemens as turbine supplier to its 450MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm in Scottish waters.

MRP plans to use SWT-6.0-154 wind turbines at the project, it said as it announced preferred suppliers.

The company also named a consortium of Technip and Marubeni as preferred supplier of balance of plant EPC services.

Marubeni brings with it Seajacks, the Great Yarmouth-based offshore installation specialist, notes Adam Bruce, MRP’s global head of corporate affairs.

“This gives you an indication of the kind of alliance we’d like to bring together”, comprising both UK and non-UK players, Bruce tells Recharge.

MRP expects to get final offshore consent for Neart na Gaoithe "soon" and start preliminary work at the site in the outer Firth of Forth by the end of the year. First generation is expected from 2017.

The Irish developer says: “This is another significant step on the track to getting the Neart na Gaoithe wind farm to financial close this year. The next step will be the receipt of the offshore planning determination.

"Today’s announcement is about gearing up the supply chain so that companies interested in supplying the project have visibility of the preferred contracting structure."

In January the Siemens 6MW machine was named for the 400MW Dudgeon wind farm off eastern England, and is also in line for Dong’s giant Westernmost Rough project.

While Siemens has not yet committed to building an offshore turbine factory in the UK, “hopefully this will be another push towards that”, Bruce says.

In December, Neart na Gaoithe was one of the three Scottish offshore wind projects to be excluded from a list of projects potentially eligible for an early Contract for Difference (CfD).

Neart na Gaoithe had been included on a previous, longer list of projects in the running for an early CfD.

“Clearly we were disappointed to go so far” under the process and not make the cut, says Bruce.

“But that was never the only route available to us. We were always working on a [Renewables Obligation] strategy, and we’re working on an enduring regime strategy as well.”