Green energy company Ecotricity will build a 54MW windfarm at Heckington Fen in Lincolnshire under the existing Renewables Obligation scheme rather than the newly launched Contract for Difference (CfD) mechanism for low carbon power.
Ecotricity opts for Renewables Obligation over Contracts for Difference for 54MW Lincolnshire windfarm
The Department of Energy and Climate Change deadline for making a binding application on an Investment Contract an early form of CfD is today (Tuesday 25th March).
Ecotricity gained planning permission for the site 12 months ago from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, with the project considered to be infrastructure of national importance because of a generating capacity above 50MW.
While the Renewables Obligation closes on 31st March 2017, the Department for Energy and Climate Change wisely introduced a 12 month grace period ending 31st March 2018 for developers that are negotiating tricky radar or grid connections, allowing Ecotricity to commission the windfarm under ROCs rather than CfDs.
Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said: “We have extensive experience developing windfarms under the Renewables Obligation and with DECC confirming the 12 month grace period, we won’t need to use the new CfD mechanism.
“Contracts for Difference comes with new risks and uncertainties which it are difficult to quantify. It’s not just because it’s new, it’s a very different approach and it introduces a lot of new risk for projects.
“While we will have to deal with CfDs eventually – as the only game in town – for now we have the choice and the RO is a far simpler and less risky process.”
Vince said the Heckington Fen project would be one of the biggest onshore windfarms in the Britain and would almost double Ecotricity’s generating capacity in one go.
“It is a superb location for a wind park, probably the best we’ve ever seen and will make a significant contribution to Britain’s energy supply, powering the equivalent of almost 40,000 homes for the next 25 years and will reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels, which are the primary source of Britain’s carbon emissions.
“Harnessing Britain’s wind energy is the only way that we, as a nation, can break the cycle of endlessly increasing energy bills – where price rises are driven by the global energy markets.”
Ecotricity was founded in 1995 as the world’s first green energy company and now powers over 100,000 homes and businesses from a growing fleet of wind and sun parks. Ecotricity is a ‘not-for-dividend’ enterprise that, on average, invests more per customer in building new sources of green electricity than any other energy company in Britain.