Wind farm gets £50m European bank loan

The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide £51m towards a £352m transmission link to connect the Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm on the North Wales coast to the national grid.

RWE Innogy's £2bn wind farm is currently under construction. When complete it will be the second largest wind farm in the world, with 160 turbines producing enough electricity for 400,000 homes.

The offshore transmission link includes two offshore substations, and more than 120km of high-voltage transmission cables, as well as a new substation at St Asaph Business Park.

The EIB will support the Gwynt y Môr link using the project bond credit enhancement facility to enhance the credit rating of bonds issued to finance the project. The Gwynt y Môr transmission link is the largest project of its kind to be financed through capital markets to date.

Jonathan Taylor, vice-president of the EIB, said: "Investment in renewable energy helps to reduce carbon emissions and benefits local economic activity. The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting energy investment across the UK, including development of the offshore wind energy sector. We are pleased to be able to support the Gwynt y Môr project and continue our close co-operation with Ofgem to connect offshore windfarms to the national grid. The scheme is already creating jobs in North Wales and elsewhere, and clearly demonstrates the huge potential of harnessing wind energy in UK waters."

Over the last five years the EIB has provided more than £7bn in long-term loans to support investment in the UK energy sector. This has included backing for new onshore and offshore windfarms, improvements to the national electricity transmission and distribution network.

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