Energy just blowing in the wind

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2 August 2016

It will eventually power up to 450,000 homes in Scotland and provide 90 jobs when up and running.

The Scottish town of Peebles lit up at night. More than 40% of Scotland’s electricity comes from renewable energy.

The Scottish town of Peebles lit up at night. More than 40% of Scotland’s electricity comes from renewable energy.

The Beatrice offshore wind farm is one of the largest private investment infrastructure projects in Scotland and ING is a key participant in a consortium of banks financing it.

The wind farm will be situated near the top of Scotland in the Outer Moray Firth where 84 turbines will be installed in the sea at least 13.5 kilometres from the coast. Offshore construction will begin in 2017 and it is expected to become fully operational in 2019.

The total investment of GBP 2.6 billion is funded by the owners SSE (a Scottish electricity operator), Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and SDIC Power together with a consortium of 13 international commercial banks plus the European Investment Bank and the Danish export credit agency, EKF.

“ING was selected as one of the Bookrunners and Mandated Lead Arrangers as well as Technical Bank based on our country and sector knowledge, competitive pricing, and pragmatic and constructive attitude,” said Oscar Piepers , director, Structure Finance Utilities, Power & Renewables and ING project lead for the deal.

“We built on our experience previously gained through the financing of several offshore wind farms in Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and, especially, the UK where we closed the Galloper offshore wind farm financing in October 2015,” he said.

Best in Europe

The UK is one of the best locations for wind power in the world, and is considered to be the best in Europe.

The United Kingdom overtook Denmark in October 2008 as the world leader of offshore wind power generation. It is also home to the largest offshore wind farm in the world, the 175-turbine London Array wind farm, located off the Kent coast.

In Scotland, more than 40 per cent of the country’s electricity comes from renewable energy. Wind, wave, and tide make up more than 80% of Scotland's renewable energy potential.

Beatrice is expected to boost the local, regional and Scottish economies during both the construction and operational phases. Expected opportunities include job creation, skills training, investment in Scottish ports and harbours, supply chain opportunities and community benefit funding.

Sustainable transitions

According to head of Sustainable Finance Leonie Schreve, supporting the Beatrice project fitted perfectly with ING’s strategy of driving sustainable progress.

“ING believes that banking can play a significant role in creating a fairer and greener economy. We approach this by financing projects that accelerate our clients’ transition to a sustainable economy. Those clients will be tomorrow’s winners and we want to support them in realising their ambitions.

“Offshore wind farms lower carbon emissions, they provide employment and are a sustainable form of long-term energy.”

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