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Moray West team remains committed to project despite CfD setback

By Alan Hendry

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THE operators of the Moray West offshore wind farm have insisted that the project remains viable despite failing to win a Contract for Difference (CfD) as part of the UK Government’s latest CfD auction.

The offshore wind farm, led by a joint venture company combining EDP Renewables and ENGIE, said it had placed competitive bids "on a range of scenarios".

It is looking to install as many as 85 turbines with a rotor diameter of up to 250m in the outer Moray Firth, some 22km off the Caithness coast.

Construction had been expected to begin in 2022 but that has now been put back to 2024.

Moray West was one of what were understood to be eight offshore wind bidders in the auction, alongside other eligible technology projects. Against a cap of 6GW, six awards have been offered to offshore wind project applicants.

Moray West gained consent licenses this summer.

The project team said it recognised an opportunity for Moray West to be awarded a CfD in the next auction round in 2021 “and would be on course for start of construction in 2024”.

Moray West location map
Moray West location map

Moray West director Dan Finch said: “Despite this setback, it is a significant achievement to get the project to such an advanced stage in a short period. Moray West will continue to develop the project in anticipation of the next auction round and thank our suppliers for helping us deliver a highly competitive bid, and with whom we will continue to work to drive the cost reduction agenda.

“I would also like to thank both internal and external stakeholders involved in getting Moray West offshore wind farm to this stage. Without their support we would not have been able to prepare the project for a strong bid.

"We continue to look forward to taking Moray West into its construction phase and delivering significant economic opportunities for Scotland and the UK.

“We’re confident that Moray West is able to become a key piece of Scotland’s energy transition story. There is an opportunity for Scotland’s energy targets to be met in future by Scottish offshore wind farms and for Moray West to be a key step on that journey.

“The project also shows how two leaders in the industry, EDPR and ENGIE, can work together to develop low-cost renewable electricity.

“We also remain confident in the CfD process and recognise the mechanism’s importance in keeping prices down.”

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