The World’s Largest Offshore Windfarm

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1After weeks of controversy regarding cutbacks to its’ renewable sector, the UK announced it is building the World’s Largest Offshore Windfarm.

Dogger Bank Teesside Offshore Wind

The proposed Dogger Bank Teesside A and B Offshore wind project will be built between 125 kilometres and 290 kilometres off the North East coast of England. When operating at full capacity, the 400 wind turbines could generate enough electricity to power up to 1.8 million British homes.

Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change - from Department of Energy & Climate Change via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)
Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change – from Department of Energy & Climate Change via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

“Thanks to Government support the UK is the world leader in offshore wind energy. As we build the Northern Powerhouse, we want local communities to reap the benefits of investment and green jobs from low carbon developments like Dogger Bank Offshore wind project,” said Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Bourne.

“This awe-inspiring offshore wind project has taken another significant step forward. The sheer size of Dogger Bank illustrates just how large the environmental and economic opportunities are in the North Sea for the UK’s world-leading offshore wind industry,” said RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery.

She added, “However, the ambition of the industry needs to be matched by a vision from Government which is backed up by firm commitments on the levels of financial provision which will be available. We need to know that the political appetite exists to ensure that major infrastructure projects like this will gain the right level of support from Ministers – they hold the keys to unlocking the vast potential of the North Sea’s clean energy resources. The industry is set to play its part – but it needs a fair wind from Westminster in order to do so”.

The UK’s Cutbacks to Renewables

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm courtesy NHD-INFO via Fklickr (CC BY SA< 2.0 License)
Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm courtesy NHD-INFO via Fklickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Recent cutbacks to the UK’s onshore wind and commercial scale solar programs have caused a great deal of uncertainty.

Todays announcement comes only a day after a Decc spokeswoman refused to answer the BBC, when asked why the UK was cutting back on renewables at a time when the US is expanding.

The most plausible  explanation comes from Energydesk’s Damian Kayha,  “Ruling out onshore wind – and potentially solar – is likely to mean more money is left over for Offshore wind …”

This is a more expensive option, but it also removes some of the complaints associated with industrial scale onshore projects.

” … The visual impact of large offshore wind farms mostly effects seagulls (and) this has always been the Conservative’s preference,” wrote Kahya.

It will also keep energy generation in the hands of utilities and  international national corporations that can finance projects this large.

This Project

This project could create close to 5,000 direct and indirect jobs and, over the course of its’ lifetime,  generate more than £1.5 billion for the UK economy.

It is being developed by the Forewind consortium, consortium comprising SSE, RWE, Statkraft and Statoil.

Top Photo Credit: Artist’s impression of The Dogger Bank Creyke Beck offshore wind farm has been granted planning approval. With a capacity of 2.4GW and up to 400 turbines it will be the UK’s largest offshore wind farm, powering up to 2 million homes. from Department of Energy & Climate Change via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

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