Extensions to existing Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon offshore wind farms are confirmed by UK Energy Minister as one of the ‘Pathfinder’ projects to deliver early benefits on better coordinated offshore transmission systems.
Today, the UK Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change Minister, Greg Hands, has confirmed that Equinor’s Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm Extension Projects (SEP and DEP) have been selected to progress as a ‘Pathfinder’ under the Offshore Transmission Network Review (OTNR)..
The OTNR process is designed to develop an increasingly coordinated offshore transmission network to minimise the impacts to the community and the environment, reduce costs, and support the acceleration of offshore wind deployment, in line with the British Energy Security Strategy ambitions for 50 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
‘Pathfinder’ projects are identified as projects that have the potential to deliver benefits on better coordinated offshore transmission systems in the near-term and provide important learnings for the other parts of the OTNR process.
Having been identified as a ‘Pathfinder’ project, SEP and DEP will continue to engage with the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) and its other OTNR partners to address regulatory and policy challenges related to delivering this combined approach, while progressing with project development.
Kari Hege Mørk, Equinor’s Project Director for SEP and DEP said: “Equinor has prioritised minimising impacts to the community and environment in Norfolk throughout the project development of SEP and DEP, so we are proud that our combined projects are confirmed as a ‘‘Pathfinder’ under the OTNR process. We welcome the continued collaboration with the Minister, BEIS and other OTNR partners as we continue to mature SEP and DEP, with the ultimate goal of supporting the development of an offshore transmission network that is fit for 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030.”
Energy Minister Greg Hands said: “The concept of ‘Pathfinder’ projects was created for such projects that are leading the way in utilising the enabling regulatory and policy changes being developed by project partners to meet the OTNR objectives. Having reviewed Equinor’s SEP and DEP proposal, I am encouraged by the degree of coordination being pursued and look forward to applying the learnings from delivering this project to the wider OTNR.”
SEP and DEP will double the capacity of the existing Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon offshore wind farms off the Norfolk coast, providing renewable energy to power an additional 785,000 UK homes and making an important contribution to the UK’s decarbonisation and energy security goals.
Equinor has been part of the Norfolk community for over a decade through its operated Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon wind farms, which produce enough renewable electricity to power around 710,000 UK homes, and are operated from the company’s Great Yarmouth Operations and Maintenance hub.
About Equinor in Norfolk
Equinor is a long-term partner for Norfolk and has been an active member of the community for over a decade through the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon wind farms it operates off the Norfolk coast.
The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm is owned by Equinor, Masdar and China Resources, whilst Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm is owned by Equinor, Equitix Offshore 5 (co-owned by Equitix and the Renewable Investment Group TRIG) and a fund managed by Macquarie Asset Management).
On behalf of its partners, Equinor is also maturing the proposed Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon extension projects (SEP and DEP). SEP and DEP will double the capacity of the existing Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon wind farms, providing renewable energy to power an additional 785,000 UK homes and making an important contribution to the UK’s decarbonisation goals.
Currently, the combined output of both wind farms is sufficient to power around 710,000 UK homes, and the proposed extensions will increase that to more than 1.5 million UK households.
Both wind farms have established community funds which in total have awarded over £1 million to projects in Norfolk. The funds were set up to provide grants to Norfolk community groups, including schools and NGOs, seeking financial assistance for projects or initiatives that meet key criteria and focus on renewable energy, marine environment and safety, sustainability, or education in these areas. During 2020, the funds provided grant funding to the Norfolk Community Foundation’s COVID-19 funding initiatives, and during 2021 grant funding has been made available to support Norfolk’s ‘every child on-line’ initiative.
SEP and DEP are a ‘Pathfinder’ project under Ofgem’s ongoing Offshore Transmission Network Review. The DCO application will provide for an integrated grid connection, as well as separate grid connections for each project, within the same overall onshore footprint. It is Equinor’s preference to deliver the integrated grid connection as long as the necessary regulatory changes are in place to facilitate this.
Issue date: 07-07-22
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