Investors Greencoat UK Wind plc are buying Orsted’s quarter stake in the London Array offshore wind farm, aided by other funds also managed by Schroders Greencoat.
The £717 million purchase values the 630MW farm, once the world’s biggest, at £2.89 billion.
Greencoat is buying out Danish developer Orsted’s 25% stake. The remaining partners are RWE on 30%, Quebec-headquartered public pensions manager CDPQ on 25%, followed by Abu Dhabi’s nationalised producer Masdar on 20%.
Situated 20 km off the north Kent coast, the London Array began generating in October 2012 from its 175 MW Siemens 3.6 MW turbines. It was formally commissioned the following May. For six years it was the world’s biggest wind farm, until Orsted opened its 750MW Walney Extension off Cumbria in 2018.
The London Array lands its power at Cleve Hill, near Faversham, the site of developers Hive’s & Wirsol’s 330MW solar farm, Britain’s biggest when approved as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project by energy secretary Alok Shama in May 2020.
Pre-commissioning shifts in ownership had seen Shell drop out of participation. The London Array spun its first turbine with Dong/Orsted owning 50%, E.On Renewables 30% and Abu Dhabi-nationalised producer Masdar on 20%
Today it is operated by RWE and earns 2 ROCs per MWh.
Greencoat’s total investment is expected to be £444 million, consisting of GBP 394 million in equity and GBP 50 million in debt. The transaction is die to complete on July 31.
Lucinda Riches, chairman of Greencoat UK Wind plc, commented: “We are delighted to invest in London Array.
“The transaction was originated and negotiated on a bilateral basis and reflects our ability to continue to generate significant shareholder value through selective off-market investments”.
In addition to London Array, Greencoat UK Wind plc invests in 46 operating UK wind farms, with net generating capacity of 1,652MW.