Equinor, a broad energy company with firm ambitions to become a global offshore wind major, has signed Agreements for Lease (AfL) with The Crown Estate for two offshore wind farm extensions in the UK.
Sheringham Extension and Dudgeon Extension are part of The Crown Estate’s 2017 Offshore Wind Extensions opportunity - which aims to unlock additional capacity in the UK offshore wind portfolio in an efficient way, by extending existing offshore wind farms.
Last year, both proposals successfully progressed through the plan level Habitats Regulations Assessment stage (HRA), which assesses the possible impact of the proposed windfarm extensions on relevant nature conservation sites of European importance.
Now, both of Equinor’s proposed wind farm extensions have officially signed an Agreement for Lease, securing an area of seabed of approximately 196km2 in total.
The company currently operates two wind farms off the Norfolk Coast, Dudgeon and Sheringham Shoal, which together generate enough renewable electricity to power around 750,000 UK homes. Equinor is developing plans to extend both sites, doubling the total capacity from its Norfolk operations to over 1400 MW, enough to power over 1.5 million homes.
Kari Hege Mørk,project manager at Equinor, said: “In support of its Net Zero ambitions, the UK Government has set a target to increase offshore wind capacity to 40GW by 2030, around four times what we currently have. The Extension Projects will make an important contribution to the UK’s decarbonisation goals, along with providing benefits to local communities through local jobs and economic opportunities.
“With good wind conditions, a short distance to shore and a location next to our existing wind farms, the two areas are perfectly suited to build onour offshore wind portfolio. This is a significant milestone as we develop these new wind farms, which will double our capacity for generating offshore wind in Norfolk.”
Although these are two separate offshore wind farm extension projects, Equinor has adopted a strategic approach and is developing the projects jointly to minimise local impacts.
As such the company will apply for a common Development Consent Orderfor the Extension Projects and is consulting on both projects together.
“We’ve just finished the first phase of our community consultation, which ran from 9 July to 20 August,“ Kari Hege continued.
“Due to Covid-19 unfortunately we weren’t able to hold face to face events as we would have liked to, so instead we hosted a virtual exhibition platform with all the relevant information, and plenty of ways to get in touch. We had really great engagement, with over 1600 people visiting the online platform during the consultation period. This feedback from the community is really important as we develop our plans.’
More information about the Extension Projects can be found here:https://event.sepanddep.co.uk
About Equinor in the UK
Equinor has been operating in the UK for over 35 years. Headquartered in Norway, the company employs 22,000 people globally, and over 650 in the UK. As a broad energy company, Equinor is committed to long term value creation in a low carbon future, and targeting carbon neutral operations globally by 2030.
Equinor is the UK’s leading energy provider and supports the UK economy by investing billions in crucial energy infrastructure, working with over 700 suppliers across the country. Its energy supplies from Norway meet more than one quarter of the UK’s demand for natural gas and around one fifth of its demand for oil, both produced with one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry. It operates the Mariner oil field, one of the largest and most digitally advanced offshore investments in the UK over the last decade, and is progressing Rosebank, the largest undeveloped field in the UK. Both projects support hundreds of jobs and economic activity in Scotland.
Equinor also operates two offshore wind farms off the East Coast of England, Dudgeon and Sheringham Shoal. It is a pioneer in floating wind technology with Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating wind farm off the coast of Peterhead, which is partnered with Batwind, the world’s first battery for offshore wind. And with its partner SSE Renewables, Equinor is building the largest offshore wind farm in the world, Dogger Bank, off the North East coast of England. It is also a leader in both carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen, and is developing a number of projects in Europe, including in the Humber and Teesside regions of North East England
Issue date: 25-08-20
Head of Communications -New Energy Solutions, UK