The Creyke Beck project at Dogger Bank in the North Sea received the first development consent for offshore wind energy on last Thursday – making it the largest renewable energy project ever to receive planning consent in the UK – and an exciting exercise for the two Norwegian developers that have just finalised Sheringham Shoal and is about to start construction at Dudgeon.
The consent approval is the culmination of more than four years of comprehensive assessments, stakeholder consultation and planning by the Forewind consortium on these projects, owned equally by the four international energy companies – RWE, SSE, Statkraft and Statoil. This work included the most extensive study of an offshore area by a wind energy developer ever undertaken with more than £60 million spent on surveys.
Dogger Bank Creyke Beck, which has a total installed capacity of 2.4GW, comprises two separate 1.2GW offshore wind farms, each with up to 200 turbines installed across an area of around 500km2. The wind farms will be located 131 kilometres from the UK coast and will connect into the existing Creyke Beck substation near Cottingham, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. When constructed, Dogger Bank Creyke Beck will be capable of generating 8 TWh of renewable energy per annum, equal to the amount used annually by approximately 1.8 million British homes.
Development will take another couple of years, but given the Norwegian developers commitment to offshore wind – with the recent add-ons in Triton Knoll, we believe that we will see construction start in 2017/18.