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UK Government Approves 2.4 GW Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm

Planning consent for the mammoth 2.4 GW Dogger Bank Creyke Beck offshore wind farm has been granted by the UK’s Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey.

Upon completion, Dogger Bank Creyke Beck has the potential to generate 8 TWh of energy each year — the equivalent of providing energy to 1.8 million British homes.

Dogger Bank-1A six-week judicial period is now underway following the approval, which came after more than four years of assessment, stakeholder consultation, and planning by the Forewind consortium behind the development — RWE, SSE, Statkraft, and Statoil. However, just over a year ago, Forewind announced to the world that they were downgrading the total capacity of the Dogger Bank Zone from 9 GW to 7.2 GW, stating at the time that “the organisation’s focus should be on those projects which are most likely to achieve a positive financial investment decision at this time.”

Nevertheless, planning consent has been approved for the first of the developments in the Dogger Bank Zone — Dogger Bank Creyke Beck — while a decision on Forewind’s second development consent order application, for Dogger Bank Teesside A&B, is anticipated to be reached in August of this year.

On top of the potential energy savings, Dogger Bank Creyke Beck is set to generate up to 4750 new direct and indirect full time equivalent jobs, and generate more than £1.5 billion for the UK economy.

“This is another great boost for Yorkshire and Humberside,” said Ed Davey on his approval of the project. “This development has the potential to support hundreds of green jobs and power up to 2 million homes.

“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.”

Dogger Bank Creyke Beck is expected to be one of the United Kingdom’s largest power generators, second only to the 3.9 GW Drax coal-fired station in North Yorkshire, and similar in size to the 2.4 GW Longannet coal-fired station in Fife. The project will be made up of two 1.2 GW wind farms, each with up to 200 wind turbines installed across an area of approximately 500 square kilometres, and located some 131 kilometres off the UK coast.

The planning consent allows for up to 400 wind turbines with fixed foundations, two offshore high voltage direct current converter platforms with fixed foundations, subsea cables between the farm and shore, and a number of other offshore and onshore infrastructure necessary for such a mammoth operation.

“Achieving consent for what is currently the world’s largest offshore wind project in development is a major achievement for Forewind and will help confirm the UK’s position as the world leader in the industry,” said General Manager, Tarald Gjerde. “It is testament to the stellar efforts made by the outstanding Forewind team, and to the invaluable support given by a wide range of expert consultants and specialist suppliers.”

The project is well loved by those outside of the development as well.

“This is an awesome project,” exclaimed RenewableUK’s Director of Offshore Renewables, Nick Medic. It will surely be considered as one of the most significant infrastructure projects ever undertaken by the wind industry. A colossal wind energy power station right in the middle of the North Sea, comprising hundreds of offshore wind turbines over 80 miles off shore.”

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