A yet-to-be-built 16 MW wind farm at Ballykeel, Northern Ireland saw its business case gold-plated today, as developer Ørsted pledged to sell the planned plant’s output to Amazon.
The digital leviathan claims to be the world’s biggest corporate buyer of renewable power.
The Danish developers were due in coming weeks to reach a go/no-go decision on the site, part of the Irish onshore portfolio for which it paid £496 million to Brookfield Renewables in April.
Paired with Ballykeel are the duo’s advance offtake deals today, centred on Ørsted’s planned bigger 900 MW Borkum Riffgrund 3 farm off the German coast. Amazon extended by a further 100 MW today the 250 MW offtake it pre-purchased last December from the project.
Borkum Riffgrund 3 is scheduled to make its first power only in 2025. So the land-based, easier-to-construct Ballykeel venture looks likely to generate first.
Amazon already buys Ørsted’s energy from a US wind farm, the 253 MW site in Scurry County, Texas. It wants to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.
Ranked as the world’s most sustainable energy company for three consecutive years, Ørsted intends becoming carbon-neutral in its energy generation by 2025, with full decarbonisation across its value chain coming before 2040.
EDF in UK goes all in with RWE’s Sofia turbines
The North Sea meanwhile will be the focus of EDF Energy’s biggest ever corporate PPA. Yesterday it signed a fifteen-year deal with RWE, to offtake all of the 6.5 TWh generated by the German utility’s planned 1.4 GW Sofia offshore park, which is due to start spinning in 2025.
The declared volume, the pair announced, equates to the power needs of over 1.2 million homes, or almost half of the electricity used in the North East of England.
One hundred turbines each standing at 252 metres tall will make up the Sofia park, extending across nearly 600 square kilometres, about the size of the Isle of Man.
Philippe Commaret, EDF UK’s managing director for customers, said: “This agreement marks a major milestone in our progress towards achieving net zero, as well as the UK’s ambition to grow offshore wind capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2030.
“We are focused on working with partners like RWE to furnish the grid with the scale of renewable energy that it so desperately needs”, Commaret added.
“This is exciting news for our customers and will also set a precedent for the UK’s energy industry – delivering large scale, practical solutions on the road to net zero.”