Senergy study shows UK could more than double its offshore wind energy targets

The findings reveal that the Government could not only surpass its aim of achieving 18GW of offshore wind generation connected to the grid by 2017 but that by 2020 there may be as much as 38GW connected.

An evaluation of the UK’s offshore wind potential carried out by Senergy’s industry-leading renewable energy consultancy has shown that the Government could more than double its offshore wind target for 2020.

Grid connection and electrical engineering specialists, Senergy Econnect, which is part of global energy services group Senergy, has assessed the potential growth of offshore wind development in the UK.

The study took into account the development plans and grid connection capacities of all current and future offshore wind projects across the country. Information was then collated on all offshore projects and a generation timeline was developed, demonstrating how the 18GW target could be surpassed as early as 2017.

Jason Hill, regional power engineering manager UK & Northern Europe at Senergy Econnect, said: “This is a significant endorsement of the UK’s offshore wind capabilities. However, it also mirrors the crucial need for the industry to address the opportunities as a matter of urgency in order to capitalise on them and realise its full potential.

“Our findings are further underpinned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force (CRTF) which recently recommended that a number of measures are introduced to reduce the cost of offshore wind. These cost reductions could facilitate the faster and greater developments planned by industry players and as reinforced by Senergy Econnect’s study.”

The Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force was set up to make the 18GW target more achievable; in June, it announced a raft of recommendations aimed at reducing the cost of offshore wind from £140/MWh to £100/MWh by 2020.

Senergy’s renewables business sees the company deliver world-class consulting and advisory services to clients in the wind power, grid connection, subsea cable, carbon capture and storage, geothermal and coalbed methane markets.

In 2008, Senergy acquired Econnect which has enabled the company to support clients like The Crown Estate for the Grid Report for UK Offshore Wind Round 3, and has led to a number of high-profile contract awards.

Senergy Econnect has built a significant track record through carrying out strategic work for a number of Government and industry organisations in the UK and internationally.

The company’s portfolio includes: Working with the National Grid Electricity Transmission to help produce the Offshore Development Information Statement; assessing the potential for grid connections of Round Three offshore wind farms for The Crown Estate; modeling changes to the Renewables Obligation for Scottish Government; providing the European Wind Energy Association with support to produce the European Grid report; and working in collaboration with various industry bodies to support the European Commission to develop its Regulatory Framework for Europe’s Offshore Grids and Power Market.

Among some of the high-profile projects that Senergy Econnect has played a pivotal role in are:

•    The 1,000MW London Array wind farm where the company was lead consultant for the technical and environmental aspects of the public inquiry into proposed 400lV substation at Graveney Marshes in North Kent. Senergy Econnect also conducted the 330MW front end engineering design for the project.

•    Gunfleet Sands wind farm for which Senergy Econnect was appointed as the owner engineer and project manager for the onshore 132kV cable installation works which connect the 172MW wind farm to the onshore grid.

•    Rhyl Flats wind farm where Senergy Econnect delivered detailed engineering design services for the onshore electrical infrastructure for the design and build.

•    Kentish Flats wind farm which involved Senergy Econnect providing full consulting engineering services for the grid connection aspects of the 90MW wind farm.

•    North Hoyle wind farm which saw Senergy Econnect provide full contractor’s electrical engineer and design and project management services for the complete electrical infrastructure.

Senergy’s integrated renewables capabilities also include its Survey and GeoEngineering division which delivers high performance services spanning technical assurance, project and risk management over the full project lifecycle. With offices in Aberdeen, Alford, Bath, Newcastle and London, the division’s services include project management, geophysics, geotechnical engineering, survey and positioning, and data management.

Copies of Senergy Econnect’s report detailing the timeline for connecting offshore wind in the UK is available from