After 4 years and £60 million spent in surveys, the Forewind Consortium has been given the go-ahead to construct offshore wind energy at Dogger Bank in the North Sea. The development is the largest renewable energy project to receive planning consent in Britain to date. It’s also the largest offshore wind project to receive global consent following the exhaustive assessments and stakeholder consultations.
Forewind, owned equally by RWE, SSE, Statkraft and Statoil undertook the most extensive study of an offshore area by a wind energy developer.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey approved the application for the Dogger Bank Creyke Beck development, which was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the consortium in August 2014.
‘This is another great boost for Yorkshire and Humberside. This development has the potential to support hundreds of…jobs,’ he said in a statement. ‘Making the most of Britain’s home grown energy is creating jobs and businesses in the UK, getting the best deal for consumers and reducing our reliance on foreign imports. Wind power is vital to this plan, with £14.5 billion invested since 2010 into an industry which supports 35,400 jobs.’
Huub den Rooijen, head of Offshore Wind for The Crown Estate, said: ‘[This] announcement for Dogger Bank Creyke Beck is the largest planning consent for an offshore wind development globally.
‘The sheer scale of this project creates the potential for it to be built at significantly lower costs, presenting a powerful opportunity for economic growth and jobs. We look forward to working with the Forewind Consortium and the wider offshore wind industry to ensure the UK remains the most attractive country to invest into the long term.’
Dogger Bank Creyke Beck, which has a total generating capacity of 2.4GW, comprises two separate 1.2GW offshore wind farms, each with 200 turbines installed across an area of around 500km2 or an area bigger than Andorra.
The wind farms will be located 131 kilometres from the English mainland and will connect into the existing Creyke Beck substation near Cottingham, in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
When constructed, Dogger Bank Creyke Beck is expected to be one of UK’s largest power generators, second only to the 3.9GW Drax coal-fired station in North Yorkshire and is the same size as the 2.4GW Longannet coal-fired station in Fife. In total it will be capable of generating 8TWh of energy a year.
The hope is Dogger Bank Creyke Beck will create up to 4,750 new direct and indirect full time jobs and generate more than £1.5 billion for the economy, with the majority of opportunities in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber regions.
Dogger Bank Creyke Beck is part of the Dogger Bank Zone, the largest of the Round 3 zones. However its waters are shallower, with higher wind speeds and seabed conditions that are well suited to becoming an offshore energy site.
This project represents a huge opportunity not only for the North East of the country but for those engineering and infrastructure professionals wanting to get involved in a project that is a major step towards moving the United Kingdom away from our reliance on coal and gas fired power stations.