Moray Offshore Renewable Power
Why offshore wind
The UK is in need of new electricity generation facilities as existing coal and nuclear power stations comes to the end of their working lives.
A considerable amount of new generation is required and, after a period of rapid technological development, offshore wind is able to offer a large capacity at a very competitive price.
Offshore wind generates electricity without producing greenhouse gasses, or creating nuclear waste.
Over the last decade, offshore wind technology has improved rapidly and the generating capacity of turbines has increased. In 2010, 3MW turbines were the norm; now 10MW and beyond can be considered.
This means that more power can be generated using fewer turbines, thus reducing capital costs, and so reducing costs to consumers. To date a cost reduction of one third has been achieved by the offshore wind industry, and efficiencies continue.
The electricity market has changed significantly since development began in the Moray Firth. The Renewable Obligations Certificate system which previously supported all new renewable generation was ended with the 2013 Energy Act. Its replacement, ‘Contracts for Difference’ (CFD) only provide support to projects bidding the lowest price for selling power at a Government auction.
1n 2014 the first CFDs (which were awarded without auction) paid £150/MWh (15p/KWh) for offshore wind.
After the first auction (2015) the cost was reduced below £120/MWh (12p/KWh)
The second auction (summer 2017) sets a maximum price of £105/MWh (10.5p/KWh)