Equinor Applies for Additional Developments Related to Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm

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The Planning Inspectorate has accepted for examination the application submitted by Equinor on behalf of its partners to develop the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm Extensions (SEP and DEP), both of which are situated off the North Norfolk coast and would power the equivalent of an additional 785,000 U.K. homes.

If SEP and DEP are built, the projects will support more than 1,800 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs per year across the U.K. and within East Anglia during the construction phase. The long-term operation of the two wind farms will also support additional direct employment, as well as through the supply chains which are developing to support the growth of the offshore wind sector in East Anglia. Additionally, SEP and DEP would create over £340 million in direct gross value added (GVA) over the construction period.

After the application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) was submitted by Equinor in early September, the Planning Inspectorate had 28 days to decide whether the application was sufficient to be accepted for examination.

“We are very pleased with this decision, and we will be offering our full co-operation to the Planning Inspectorate throughout the coming examination period,” says Equinor project director Kari Hege Mørk. “As we have developed these projects over the last three years, we have sought to find ways to maximize local benefits and minimize disruption. We have consulted widely with the local community throughout the process, including two rounds of community consultation and a series of public information days, and we will continue to maintain proactive community communications throughout the examination period.”

Following extensive consultation, Equinor has integrated several design changes into SEP and DEP to mitigate local disruption. The projects will include trenchless crossings of all A and B roads and 20 other local roads; construction of a haul road along the cable route to reduce the number of access points and heavy goods vehicle (HGV) movements on the local road network; and have repositioned numerous construction access locations to meet stakeholder and landowner requests, thus avoiding impacts to the local environment and ensuring road safety.

Additionally, opportunities for biodiversity net gain are being assessed through engagement with local communities and nature conservation bodies, to enhance local wildlife habitats.

Prior to the examination, a statutory consultation lasting until the 14th of November 2022, in total six weeks, will be undertaken which will provide SEP and DEP stakeholders with the opportunity to formally register their interest in the projects and the examination, and to review and comment on Equinor’s accepted application. 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.

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