Areva in line for 340MW Galloper

French-owned manufacturer Areva is set to win the deal to supply the turbines for the 340MW Galloper offshore wind farm, Recharge understands, with the project partners set to announce that Areva has “preferred supplier” status.

On 13 November German utility RWE and UK partner SSE said that they had reduced the size of the project to 340MW from the original 504MW. The project received planning consent in May and the consortium has submitted an application for an Investment Contract under the UK government’s EMR framework.

The project site is adjacent to the two partners' already-operating Greater Gabbard plant, and was originally down to match its 504MW capacity.

The project is still awaiting a final investment decision. This was originally to have been made in early 2014, but there have been doubts about the timing, after SSE indicated it would halt final investment decisions until the next national elections in 2015 because of political uncertainty. 

RWE officials have said that government draft CfD strike prices are inadequate for the Galloper project with chief operating officer Paul Coffey saying that the project needs a “higher number” than £155/MWh.

However RWE is also keen to avoid any delays to the project, and says the wind farm could be commissioned by 2017. 

Delays could have a disastrous effect on the project if it loses its status as being currently first in line for a grid connection, while RWE’s huge offshore logistics operation, which includes two state-of-the-art installation vessels, could be left without projects to work on.

RWE’s 576MW Round 2 Gwynt y Mor project off the coast of Wales and its 295MW Nordsee Ost project in Germany are both slated for completion by the end of 2014.

RWE is currently trying to sell the two installation vessels – the Friedrich Ernestine and Victoria Mathias – which cost€100m ($137m) each, as it tries to improve its balance sheet, but no buyers have come forward so far.