News | May 21, 2021

Launch Of HIP Atlantic Project And World-Leading Power Cable Plant In Northeast England

Chicago, IL And London, United Kingdom /PRNewswire/ - Hecate Independent Power Limited ("HIP") announces the launch of its HIP Atlantic Project for installing 10,000 MW of fixed and floating wind turbines in the North Atlantic connected to the United Kingdom by long-length, high-capacity, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) submarine power transmission cables. These cables are to be manufactured in the United Kingdom at a £200 million (US $277 million) bespoke power cable plant to be built at a port in the northeast of England. The total project cost is estimated at GBP £21 billion (US $30 billion).

HIP has lodged four connection applications with National Grid Company for an initial 4,000 MW of grid connections to the United Kingdom's 400 kV electricity transmission system across four connection sites. Each wind farm – or pod - will be in a different North Atlantic location, and each pod consisting of 1,000 MW of wind turbines will have its own dedicated cable linked to the United Kingdom. Full dispatch of the HIP offshore wind pods will be under the exclusive control of the United Kingdom electricity system operator making HIP Atlantic Britain's first captive wind farm in overseas territorial waters.

HIP Atlantic's initial 2,000 MW of generation capacity, targeted to be off the southern and eastern coasts of Iceland, is expected to be commissioned in early 2025 to coincide with the United Kingdom's de-commissioning of its last coal-fired power plants and the last of its original generation of commercial nuclear power plants. Crucially, the HIP Atlantic HVDC transmission cables will never connect to the Icelandic transmission system: the high availability wind capacity will be solely connected to the United Kingdom, dispatched by National Grid.

HIP's planned offshore wind pods in the North Atlantic will all be installed in a different meteorological catchment area from current North Sea and Irish Sea wind farms and so HIP renewable electricity can be supplied at times when existing British wind farms are becalmed. This diversity of wind source provides a geographical portfolio effect to protect the UK transmission grid from too much offshore wind capacity installed in just one region.

HIP Atlantic aims to maximise the British manufactured content in every element of its equipment manufacturing and installation process: across offshore wind turbine and cable manufacture, installation and operations, HIP aims to create more long term, high value jobs across the United Kingdom than any previous wind farm connected to the National Grid. The initial 2,000 MW capacity alone will result in some 15,000 new jobs in the United Kingdom.

Iceland will be a significant beneficiary of HIP Atlantic's investment programme in offshore wind. The initial Icelandic investment for the first 2,000 MW pilot phase of the project is expected to be GBP £2.9 million (US $4 million) in 2021 rising to an additional GBP £144 million (US $200 million) through 2025. Up to 500 new jobs located in southern and eastern Iceland are associated with just the 2,000 MW pilot phase.

Speaking in London today HIP's Chairman, Sir Tony Baldry, said: "HIP Atlantic fulfils the Prime Minister's vision of attracting investment and job creation in the North of England as part of this country's ambitious policy to make Britain the world leader in offshore wind energy. We will stretch the zone of British-operated wind generation outside of our traditional territorial waters, pushing the boundaries of existing cable technology to generate over 1,000 kms from our grid landfall points throughout England."

HIP is an Anglo-American joint venture. HIP is comprised of Hecate Wind LLC ("Hecate"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hecate Holdings LLC which is a leading North American renewable energy developer and majority owner of Hecate Energy LLC, and Independent Power Corporation PLC, Britain's leading developer of conventional power plants internationally.

HIP Atlantic: Notes to Editors
North Atlantic Offshore Wind Generation,
Manufacturing Hub for HVDC Cable
and Dedicated UK Based Cable Laying Vessels

Hecate Wind LLC is part of Hecate Holdings LLC, a leading developer of renewable energy projects in the United States.

► Founded in 2012 by a team of industry veterans who have worked together for over 25 years, Hecate project companies have entered into over 1.4 GW of renewable PPAs with 31 counterparties. Projects that Hecate has developed and that are constructed or are under construction include 1,100 MW of solar projects and 138 MWh of battery storage projects totalling over $1.1 billion in asset value. Hecate has another 750 MW of renewable projects beginning construction in the next year and has an active development pipeline of over 12 GW of renewable projects.

► Hecate prides itself on pushing the envelope of innovation to drive down the costs of the clean energy solutions our society needs. For over a decade Hecate Holdings has been a leader in the industry to innovate cost out of projects via unique technology and financing solutions. Hecate maintains ready access to the capital needed to carry energy infrastructure projects through their multi-year development cycles.

Independent Power Corporation PLC is one of Britain's leading developers and operators of independent power plants. IPC was co-founded in 1995 by Peter Earl, an investment banker.

► IPC has 25 years of experience in the development, operation and ownership of power plants globally with roughly 9.25 GW operated, developed or owned on five continents. It has focused on high efficiency, low emissions gas fired plants.

► In the 1990s the company had an alliance with Phillips Petroleum for LNG based power plants. Initially IPC worked in a partnership with the US utilities, New Century Energies (later Xcel Energy) of Denver, Colorado and Florida Progress of Tampa, Florida.

► In 2001 IPC was bought out from its US partnerships with IPC becoming 100% British owned.

► IPC has strong operating capabilities and is a pre-qualified technical operator with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It has operated power plants for governments and for BP. It built the first combined cycle gas turbine power plants in Bolivia and South Africa, earning United Nations endorsed carbon credits.

HIP is chaired by Sir Tony Baldry, a former British energy minister under Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

  • HIP's approach of using dedicated, UK based HVDC cable laying ships also permits power to be delivered to connection points along the east or west coasts of England to tie into specific new hyperscale data centres being developed by large digital users of renewable energy. HIP has worked broadly across British government departments and agencies – including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and National Grid Electricity. System Operator (National Grid ESO) - to secure the necessary recognition that captive renewable power, generated outside the UK but dispatched exclusively by the UK transmission system operator may be connected to the UK grid and is eligible for CFDs.
  • HIP has committed to maximise the British content of each of its 1,000 MW pods of offshore wind capacity and the associated transmission cables.
  • HIP's 65 per cent net capacity factor (as against 40-45 per cent for North Sea wind farms) supports electricity pricing that is comparable with the most recent UK offshore licensing round auction.
  • HIP Atlantic is currently finalising an institutional investment of ordinary equity capital into a project SPV to develop its first two 1,000 MW fixed-bottom offshore wind projects.
  • Separately, HIP Atlantic is working with investment partners for a new HVDC cable manufacturing facility with room for expansion and with an associated deep water berth for loading cable laying vessels in excess of 275 metres in length.
  • HIP Atlantic is also working with a group of ship owners to modify existing vessels capable of laying the long lengths of HVDC cable required to connect wind turbine capacity to the United Kingdom at connection points on the 400 kV transmission system which have been agreed with National Grid Company. These will be the largest dedicated power cable vessels in operation in the world today that will be largely operated by British crews.

Source: Hecate Holdings LLC

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