LONDON, March 31 Britain's government-funded
bank investing in green energy projects has acquired stakes in
two offshore wind farms owned by Denmark's Dong Energy and
Germany's RWE Innogy, respectively, for nearly 500
million pounds ($830 million).
The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB), working with 3.8
billion-pound in capital provided by the government, has
purchased a 50 percent stake jointly with Japan's Marubeni
in DONG Energy's planned Westermost Rough offshore wind
farm off the east cost of England.
The partners acquired the stake for 500 million pounds, of
which the UK state-funded bank is providing 241 million, the GIB
said in a statement.
The bank also announced a 10 percent stake purchase in RWE
Innogy's Gwynt y Mor project, the largest offshore wind farm
under construction in Europe, for 220 million pounds.
The GIB said DONG Energy and RWE's proceeds from the sales
would be re-invested in Britain's renewable energy market.
Britain's business minister Vince Cable said the bank had
now invested more than 600 million pounds in five offshore wind
The bank's participation is a shot in the arm to Britain's
offshore wind sector which has seen a series of project
cancellations over the past months. Last week, British utility
SSE announced it was shelving two planned offshore wind projects
and reduce its stake in a third to cut costs.
Britain, which is the world's largest offshore wind market,
is counting on the development of other wind farms to help it
cut carbon emissions in the electricity sector. Turbine
installations could reach 3,000 by the end of the decade,
compared with 1,075 turbines now. Some 2.5 gigawatts of offshore
wind capacity has gone through planning and could be added to
the grid in coming years.
($1 = 0.6011 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Karolin Schaps. Editing by Jane Merriman)