Dogger Bank Wind Potential Doubles
The U.K. has authorized the Forewind Consortium, a group of European energy companies, to develop the next stage of the world’s largest offshore wind energy project. The venture is projected to cost about £8 billion ($12.5 million).
Dogger Bank Teesside A&B will have a combined installed capacity of up to 2.4 gigawatts (GW) - enough to power the annual electricity needs of two million British homes. Each site will host up to 200 turbines installed in an area of seabed of around 600 square kilometers, located 102 miles from the north east coast of England at its closest point.
The Teesside project is equal in size to the world’s largest previously consented project, Dogger Bank Creyke Bank (also up to 2.4GW) situated alongside it, which gained consent in February 2015.
When constructed, Dogger Bank Teesside A&B will be one of UK’s largest power generators, equal to Dogger Bank Creyke Beck and second only to the 3.9GW Drax coal-fired station in North Yorkshire.
The announcement comes at an uncertain time for the renewable energy industry as a whole following a series of U.K. government announcements about reductions in financial support in other parts of the sector. The government has postponed the next round of auctions for Contracts for Difference, which provide financial support for renewable projects, until the spring. Greater clarity on the government’s plans for this support system are 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 U.K.’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”.
Forewind stated that the project will create nearly 4,750 jobs and generate about £1.5 million ($2.3 million).
It is expected that the entire Dogger Bank development will consist of six offshore wind farms, each with a capacity of up to 1.2 GW, creating a combined capacity of 7.2 GW.
Forewind is made up of a unit of German utility RWE, UK utility SSE , Norwegian state-owned utility Statkraft and the oil major Statoil.