UK first power deal plugs water giant into Grimsby's offshore wind might

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 28 Feb 2019

Ørsted has signed a long-term agreement with Northumbrian Water that will see the utility firm take almost a third of its renewable energy demand from Grimsby’s Race Bank offshore wind farm.

The 10-year deal is the first power purchase agreement (PPA) of its kind in the UK. It builds on an initial supply arrangement between the companies, which started in April 2018.

From Friday, Northumbrian Water will source 30 per cent of its renewable electricity directly from the Race Bank, operated and maintained from the East Coast Hub at Royal Dock.

The move further drives Northumbrian Water’s sustainable and renewable energy strategy, building upon its existing solar, hydro, gas to grid and advanced anaerobic digestion power generation.

The corporate PPA will deliver approximately 100 GWh per year of renewable electricity from the offshore wind farm to Northumbrian Water consumption sites in the North East, Essex and Suffolk, amounting to approximately 1TWh across the term.

EMERGING ENERGY HUB: Ørsted's East Coast Hub at Grimsby's Royal Dock is nearly complete. Picture: David Lee Photography Ltd. 

As well as supporting the growth of Northumbrian Water’s renewable energy activity, the agreement will help drive down Northumbrian Water’s costs of operation through a long-term fixed price for electricity.

Read more: How Race Bank and Hornsea helped Orsted to a record year

Alana Kühne, head of corporate PPAs at Ørsted, said: “Northumbrian Water shares our ambitions towards a greener future and are able to benefit from this journey through signing a corporate PPA from Race Bank. For Ørsted, this agreement is an important step towards building long-term green partnerships with corporate power customers.”

Commissioned last year, Race Bank is the largest wind farm operating out of Grimsby, with the 91-turbine array off the Lincolnshire coast having a capacity of 573MW.

Graham Southall, Northumbrian Water’s group commercial director, said: “This PPA is not only a first of its kind in the UK; more importantly it aligns perfectly with our sustainability goals and our ambitions of creating a truly cohesive energy management strategy. The long-term stability this brings is fantastic for us, and great news for our customers and stakeholders, because it reduces operational costs without compromising our work.”

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