EDP reaffirms its role in the UK’s wind energy

Around £660m to be invested through entry into the UK onshore wind power market via a portfolio of 544 MW of onshore wind and solar energy.
Investment of £2.65bn secured in the offshore wind farm projects of Ocean Winds’ assets of Moray East and Moray West and plans for an additional investment of £2.2bn in Moray West over the next 3 to 4 years. Minimum target of 3.9 GW in the Scotwind leasing round, equal to a capex of up to £10bn.

EDP, through its subsidiary EDP Renewables (Euronext: EDPR), the world’s fourth largest renewable energy producer, plans to invest £12.86bn in the UK over the coming years. This investment is additional to that already made by Ocean Winds, the joint venture owned 50/50 by EDPR and ENGIE dedicated to offshore wind, in the Moray East and Moray West projects, amounting to £2.65bn. 

EDPR has been present in the UK for over ten years, during which it has managed to consolidate its position in the offshore segment. 

On the eve of the UK’s Global Investment Summit, Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade, CEO of EDP and EDPR, explains: “These plans to invest up to £13bn by 2030 underscore our commitment to the United Kingdom – a strategic market for the growth of the Group. We have an established position in the offshore market, now complemented by our entry into onshore and we will explore any further opportunities that allow us to continue to play a leading role in the UK’s energy transition.” 

EDP Group’s entry into the onshore market underlines broader efforts to diversify its presence in the UK. Last July it announced the acquisition of two renewable energy portfolios, both wind and solar, with a forecast capacity of 544 MW.  

The acquisition of these portfolios strengthens the company’s presence in the UK, by diversifying and complementing its already established offshore operations, where it currently has 1 GW of gross capacity under construction and 0.9 GW under development, via Ocean Winds.

Following on from these acquisitions, the Group plans to invest close to £660m in expanding this business over the next five years. Moreover, the company is actively seeking new opportunities in this segment, with 200MW of wind projects currently being negotiated with local partners.

As for offshore activity, EDP Group is active in two important projects through Ocean Winds: one recently built —Moray East— and the other, at an advanced stage of development —Moray West—, which have together meant a joint investment of £2.65bn to date.

With a capacity of 950 MW and 100 turbines, Moray East is Scotland’s largest wind farm. The project, which is supported by a Contract for Difference (CfD), is currently at the last stage of construction. The last turbine was recently installed and the commissioning and start of operations is expected to take place in April 2022. Upon obtaining the leasing rights of Crown Estate in 2010, EDPR became the sole operator. The company was able to obtain, the lowest cost of energy prices and a MW capacity above that which had been contracted.  

Moray West is a project of approximately 900MW which will be the focus of a bid during the next CfD round, scheduled for early 2022. The project is currently in the supply chain contract negotiation phase and Ocean Winds has already managed to secure a preferential bidding agreement with a leading turbine supplier. Construction is scheduled to commence during 2022. Once Moray West has been completed, the project is expected to require additional capex of £2.2bn over the following 3 to 4 years.
Ocean Winds is also waiting to learn of the result of ScotWind, the offshore leasing round in Scottish waters, where it has submitted bids for up to 9GW of capacity for both fixed and floating projects. The company is targeting a minimum of 3.9GW between a fixed project and a floating one. The capex for both projects would amount to £10bn. 

In order to take on the projects that the company currently has under way in the UK; EDPR has a delegation of some 150 people in the country. Most of these professionals, 120, are focused on developing offshore projects and the team is expected to be substantially expanded if the Scotwind bids are won by the company. Moreover, EDPR aims at driving the growth of its team on site dedicated to the onshore business.