In agreement with The Crown Estate, the Forewind consortium has revised the total capacity of planned offshore wind energy projects in the U.K.'s Dogger Bank Zone from 9 GW to 7.2 GW.
Forewind, comprising RWE, SSE, Statkraft and Statoil, has been exploring the potential for up to eight offshore wind farms and is now planning six 1.2 GW projects. The consortium says the revision follows more than four years of offshore and onshore surveys and assessments, which have concluded that the organization's focus should be on those projects that are most likely to achieve a positive financial investment decision at this time.
In addition, the group says the revised capacity better aligns plans for the Zone with the U.K. government's aspirations for offshore wind deployment given its current target of between 8 GW and 15 GW of energy projects by 2020.
Nonetheless, Forewind General Manager Lee Clarke notes that the 7.2 GW of planned capacity is still a massive undertaking, even without the final two proposed projects.
Huub den Rooijen, head of offshore wind for The Crown Estate, adds that this is another example of the U.K. offshore wind market continuing to mature with developers like Forewind rightly focusing on getting planning consent for the best projects.
"This healthy attrition in the U.K.'s pipeline is delivering a leaner industry, one that's more manageable for consenting bodies to resource and critically, one that offers greater certainty about the scale of near term development and investment opportunities."