RWE has a signed agreement from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to allow The Crown Estate (TCE) to proceed with Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4, on the basis of a derogation.
This means that RWE’s two Dogger Bank South (DBS) Offshore Wind Farms, which are among six fixed-bottom offshore wind projects with a combined potential to generate renewable electricity for more than 7 million homes, have been given the green light and may enter into an agreement for lease with The Crown Estate.
“RWE has many years of experience in the U.K. offshore wind industry and is a key partner in helping the government achieve its ambitious targets of delivering 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030,” says Danielle Jarski, RWE’s offshore wind chief development officer. “We look forward to working with The Crown Estate and all our other stakeholders to take these new U.K. offshore wind development projects forward in support of that commitment. The Dogger Bank South projects will bring significant benefits to the U.K. economy, representing a potential multi-billion-pound investment in U.K. energy infrastructure supporting jobs and local, regional and national supply chains.”
RWE was awarded the status of preferred bidder for the two adjacent sites which make up Dogger Bank South following the conclusion of The Crown Estate’s Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4 tender process in February 2021.
DBS East and DBS West are located over 110 kilometers offshore in the shallow offshore area of the North Sea known as Dogger Bank. Combined, the projects could have a total installed capacity of up to 3,000 MW helping to meet the U.K. government’s commitment of 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030, and supporting security of energy supply and delivery of its net zero targets.
Although the projects are at a very early stage, offshore and onshore surveys are already underway to help support the development process, and include the deployment of metocean data collection and a series of geophysical and environmental surveys. The next steps will be to undertake the necessary development and consenting activities in accordance with current U.K. government guidelines, and which include comprehensive stakeholder consultation and determining each project’s exact installed capacity, along with securing grid connection agreements with National Grid.
The sites will be developed together by RWE, with the aim of submitting an application for development consent to the Planning Inspectorate in 2024.
Local residents will have the opportunity to comment on the wind farm proposals throughout the development phase and the project team is due to launch a non-statutory consultation in late summer/autumn 2022. Feedback received from the consultation, along with data gathered from surveys and discussions with statutory bodies, will help inform the project design.
“The consenting process for the scheme will include consultation with affected landowners, residents, parish councils and local interest groups in areas around the proposed locations of our infrastructure,” states Trevor Baker, RWE’s DBS projects lead. “Further details on our upcoming consultation activities, which will help us select sites for our onshore electrical infrastructure, will be available very soon.”