Government green-lights giant Dogger Bank offshore wind farm
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has granted planning permission for the construction of a giant offshore windfarm off the North East coast of England.
The Dogger Bank project will feature two offshore wind generation stations: Dogger Bank Teesside A and B, with a combined 400 wind turbines and an installed capacity up to 1.2 GW.
The Government says the project could supply enough green electricity to power 1.8 million UK homes.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Bourne said: “Thanks to Government support, the UK is the world leader in offshore wind energy.
“As we build the Northern Powerhouse, we want local communities to reap the benefits of investment and green jobs from low carbon developments like Dogger Bank Offshore wind project.”
Lord Bourne announces planning consent for Dogger Bank Teesside A and B Offshore wind project http://t.co/5IVHaEbZsw— DECC (@DECCgovuk) August 5, 2015
Dogger Bank Teesside A and B is being taken forward by Forewind – a consortium comprising SSE, RWE, Statkraft and Statoil. Forewind claimed the 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
The announcement comes at an uncertain time for the renewable energy industry after a series of Government announcements about reductions in financial support schemes.
Notably for offshore wind developers, the Government has postponed the next round of Contracts for Difference auctions - the support system for large scale renewable projects.
Greater clarity on the Government’s plans for this support system is expected in the autumn.
RenewableUK’s chief executive Maria McCaffery said: “This awe-inspiring offshore wind project has taken another significant step forward. 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.
"However, the ambition of the industry needs to be matched by a vision from Government which is backed up by firm commitments on the levels of financial provision which will be available.
"We need to know that the political appetite exists to ensure that major infrastructure projects like this will gain the right level of support from Ministers – they hold the keys to unlocking the vast potential of the North Sea’s clean energy resources. The industry is set to play its part – but it needs a fair wind from Westminster in order to do so."
This is the second consented phase of the much larger Dogger Bank zone, which is planned to comprise six sites with an estimated total capacity of up to 7.2GW. The first phase - Dogger Bank Creyke Beck A and B near the Humberside region – was given the green light by the Government back in February.
The application for the 2.4GW Teesside C and D wind farm is expected to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate early next year.