An offshore wind farm in Scotland, the Moray East wind farm, has reportedly generated £647 million through a combination of a net zero loophole and payments received even when not producing electricity.
That’s according to the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), which has raised concerns that consumers may have effectively overpaid by hundreds of millions of pounds.
The project, located in the Moray Firth, comprises one hundred 9.5MW turbines and is primarily owned by Ocean Winds.
The REF’s analysis covering the period from June 2021 to July 2023 reveals that the wind farm received over £1.1 billion.
Originally, Moray East secured a Contract for Difference (CfD) with a guaranteed price of £57.50 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in 2012 prices, equivalent to around £74.49 in current prices.
However, the wind farm exercised a government-granted power to postpone the start of the contract, enabling it to benefit from higher market prices.
According to REF’s estimations, if Moray East had implemented its CfD and delivered electricity at the contracted price, it would have received £350 million, with the remaining approximately £460 million benefiting consumers.
In response, a spokesperson for Ocean Winds said: “Moray East remains on course to start its CfD within the contractual terms set by the process and has always acted in accordance with this agreement.”