The €1.2 billion Norther offshore wind farm, situated on the Belgian continental shelf, has successfully achieved financial close. Mott MacDonald is lenders’ technical advisor (LTA) on the project and will now provide construction and operational monitoring in an ongoing role.
Consisting of 44 turbines, Norther will have a total installed capacity of 370MW. The turbines will be connected to an offshore substation by a series of inter-array cables before linking to the onshore transmission grid network via a 25.8km, 220 kV subsea cable. Once complete, Norther will be capable of providing sustainable energy to the equivalent of approximately 400,000 households.
Having initially provided technical support at an earlier stage of development, Mott MacDonald transitioned to a LTA role in late 2015, delivering due diligence services until financial close. During this time, the consultancy provided technical advice on several important aspects of the scheme, including the project schedule, timeline, export cable design and turbine technology.
Scott Love, Mott MacDonald’s project manager, said: “We have a deep understanding of the requirements of the lenders, having been involved on the project since 2010. Our role on Norther continues our long-standing and vast involvement in the Belgian offshore wind sector, where we have provided technical advice on the five previous offshore wind farms – Belwind, Northwind, Thornton Bank, Nobelwind and recently Rentel – to reach financial close to date.”
Dennis Sanou, Norther’s chief executive officer, added: “It has taken quite some time and hard work to bring the project to where we are today. Thanks to the effort of the team members, together with professional and reliable partners like Mott MacDonald, we have been able to acquire the required funding and proceed into the construction phase. We will continue to work with Mott MacDonald as our LTA and are looking forward to the continuation of this successful endeavour.”
The Norther offshore wind farm is expected to be fully operational by summer 2019.