The next stage of the giant Dogger Bank offshore wind farm in the North Sea – the biggest offshore wind project in the world – has today been granted planning consent by the UK government.
Dogger Bank Teesside A&B will have an installed capacity of up to 2.4 gigawatts (GW) – enough to power the annual electricity needs of two million homes. Each site will host up to 200 turbines installed in an area of seabed of around 600km2, located 100 miles from the coast at its closest point.
The Teesside project is equal in size to the world’s largest previously consented project, Dogger Bank Creyke Bank (also up to 2.4GW) situated alongside it, which gained consent in February 2015.
The huge project could create up to 4,750 direct and indirect jobs and generate more than £1.5 billion for the UK economy over its lifetime, according to the project’s developers RWE, SSE, Statkraft and Statoil which comprise the Forewind consortium.
The announcement is a huge tonic for the renewable energy industry as a whole following recent UK government decisions to axe subsidies for onshore wind turbine parcs – most of which (70%) are, or are planned to be, in Scotland. If built Dogger Bank Teesside A and B would will comprise:
- Up to 200 wind turbine generators in each of two arrays (up to 400 in total);
- Up to 8 offshore collector platforms;
- Up to 4 accommodation or helicopter platforms;
- Up to 10 metrological stations;
- Up to 2 convertor stations;
- Up to two sets of export cables to connect the arrays to a coastal landing point between Redcar and Marske-by-the-Sea in the Borough of Redcar and Cleveland; and
- Onshore associated development, including underground cabling and a convertor station.
Today’s planning approval for offshore wind energy at Dogger Bank takes the total of consented projects in the North Sea zone to 4.8 gigawatts (GW) – almost equal to all the offshore wind capacity now in operation in the UK.
The consented development, Dogger Bank Teesside A&B is part of the Dogger Bank Zone, the largest of the Round 3 zones and the farthest from shore, but also one of the shallowest, with high wind speeds and seabed conditions ideally suited to offshore wind development.
The consent is offshore wind consortium Forewind’s second approval following that of Dogger Bank Creyke Beck in February. Both consented developments have a proposed installed capacity of 2.4GW making them the equal largest renewable energy applications ever to be approved in the UK, and together the world’s biggest planned offshore wind scheme.
The Dogger Bank Teesside A&B go-ahead is the result of more than four years of assessments, community and stakeholder consultation, and planning by the consortium, owned equally by the Swedish, Scottish and German energy companies – RWE, SSE, Statkraft and Statoil.
This included the most extensive study of an offshore area ever undertaken by a wind energy developer, with more than £60 million spent on surveys, the vast majority going to UK-based contractors.
Tarald Gjerde, Forewind General Manager, said the planning approval had been achieved following extensive consultation with interested parties and a rigorous governmental review, combined with the positive seabed survey results and strong wind measurements.
He said: “It represents a real opportunity for the UK to receive even more of its energy from its abundant wind resource while creating significant economic benefits”.
Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive, Renewable-UK, commented: “The awe-inspiring sheer size of Dogger Bank illustrates just how large the environmental and economic opportunities are in the North Sea for Britain’s offshore wind industry.”