Government approves world's largest offshore wind farm project

6th August 2015


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  • Generation ,
  • Renewable ,
  • Built environment ,
  • Planning

Author

Roger Wareing

The government has approved plans to build two new offshore wind farms in the North Sea, which together have the potential to power all commercial and industrial activities each year in the North East.

Planning approval for Dogger Bank Teesside A and B offshore wind farms allows for up to 400 turbines, with a combined generating capacity of 2.4GW, to be built 100 miles off England's north-east coast.

Consent follows earlier approval for Dogger Bank Creyke Beck wind farm, which together with the neighbouring Teesside development will form the world's largest planned offshore wind farm scheme.

Both projects are being developed by the Forewind consortium, which consists of Scottish and Southern Energy, RWE, Statoil and Statkraft. The consortium says the approval paves the way for the phased delivery of wind power projects across Dogger Bank.

The project is predicted to create up to 4,750 new jobs across the North East, Humberside and Yorkshire.

RenewableUK, which represents the renewable energy industry, said the development would cover an area of seabed measuring around 600km2. "This awe-inspiring offshore wind project has taken another significant step forward," said chief executive Maria McCaffery. "The sheer size of Dogger Bank illustrates just how large the environmental and economic opportunities are in the North Sea for the UK's world-leading offshore wind industry."

The Dogger Bank zone is an attractive for offshore wind farm because of its high wind speeds and relatively shallow water depths, which provide good ground conditions for construction. But the shallow waters mean it also is an important site for plaice and sand eel fishing, and is a marine protected area.

The National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations expressed concern over the plans. "Our main concern is ensuring as far as possible that fisheries can co-exist with wind farm sites. There is a large degree of uncertainty and we have very little experience as the UK is leading the world to drive the offshore wind industry," said assistant chief executive Dale Rodmell.

A spokesperson for Forewind said environmental assessments had been carried out by the developers, and confirmed that measures would be taken to mitigate any impact.

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