ESB takes 50% stake in £1.8bn Scottish wind farm

French utility EDF is building the farm which could power up to 375,000 homes

ESB confirmed a deal to acquire a 50 per cent stake in a Scottish offshore wind farm project owned by Electricite de France (EDF).

The Neart na Gaoithe development off the coast of Fife has a capacity of about 450 megawatts, allowing it to power 375,000 homes when it is commissioned in 2023.

ESB’s interest in the project, which has the support of 25 banks, had been reported earlier this month. The company did not disclose what is paid for its stake in the project.

“Our 50 percent stake in Neart na Gaoithe fits entirely with ESB’s . . . strategy to build a balanced low carbon generation portfolio of scale,” the company’s chief executive, Pat O’Doherty, said.


Important step

EDF bought the asset from Mainstream Renewable Power last year for over €600 million. At the time, EDF said it would open the project to other investors in due course. The facility is set to cost about £1.8 billion (€2.08 billion) to build.

EDF Renewables chief executive Matthieu Hue said the addition of ESB to the project is a "hugely important step".

“The wind farm will play an important role in de-carbonising the UK electricity system to reach the country’s net zero targets,” he added.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business