GDF Suez-backed International Power has withdrawn its 140MW Beinn Mhor onshore wind project from the running for an early Contract for Difference (CfD), due to ongoing delays to the proposed interconnector running to Scotland’s Isle of Lewis.
withdrawal potentially opens the door to other projects taking the early CfD
budget that may have been allocated to Beinn Mhor.
originally named 16 renewables projects eligible for an early CfD, the UK in
December said that just 10 of those were considered “provisionally affordable”
and thus likely to win a contract.
early CfD in hand may help developers secure financing for their projects.
Of the 10
projects deemed provisionally affordable, Beinn Mhor was the only one in
Scotland – eliciting howls of protest from Edinburgh.
important Scottish offshore wind projects – Neart na Gaoithe (owned by
Mainstream Renewable Power), Beatrice (SSE), and Inch Cape (Repsol and EDPR) –
had made the list of 16 but were dropped when it was whittled to 10.
And it has
now emerged that Beinn Mhor has pulled its name out of the running for an early
The list of
provisionally affordable projects on the Department of Energy and Climate
Change’s website has been narrowed to nine, with DECC stating that the list was
amended on 4 February “following the withdrawal of one … applicant”.
according to GDF Suez, is that Beinn Mhor will not be in a position to patch
into the grid on Great Britain in time to avail itself of the early CfD.
December – two days before DECC’s “provisionally affordable” announcement – SSE
issued a statement saying that the planned subsea interconnector for the Isle
of Lewis, upon which Beinn Mhor will rely, will not be complete until 2019.
interconnector, which has been under development for a decade, was originally
slated for completion in 2015, and then pushed back to 2016.
to being the only Scottish project on the list of projects provisionally
eligible for an early CfD, Beinn Mhor was one of just two onshore wind farms –
the second being Ecotricity’s 66MW Heckington Fen project in England.
Scottish government remains indignant with the UK’s treatment of and attitude
towards renewables projects on three sets of remote islands – Lewis, Orkney and
the UK confirmed a CfD strike price of £115 ($192m) per MWh for onshore wind on
the islands – already a significant premium over onshore wind farms on Great
Britain – but developers and the Scottish government had been pushing for
£130/MWh in some cases to make projects economically viable.
plants in the UK are charged for their use of the grids based on their
proximity to population centres, meaning that Scottish wind farms, and
particularly in remote areas, must be significantly more profitable in order to
cross the threshold of economic viability.