RWE today welcomed an agreement by 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.
The announcement means that RWE’s two Dogger Bank South (DBS) Offshore Wind Farms, which are amongst 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 by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and may enter into an Agreement for Lease with The Crown Estate.
RWE, one of the globally leading companies in offshore wind, 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 110km 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 megawatts (MW) helping to meet the UK Government’s commitment of 50GW 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 UK 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.
Trevor Baker, DBS Projects Lead for RWE, said: “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. Further details on our upcoming consultation activities, which will help us select sites for our onshore electrical infrastructure, will be available very soon.”
RWE is one of the world’s leaders in offshore wind, and is driving the development of one of the largest offshore wind pipelines in the UK. The UK plays a key role in RWE’s strategy to grow its renewables business and to become carbon neutral by 2040. With 10 offshore wind farms in operation in the UK, RWE has significant experience in the offshore market. It has committed to investing €50 billion gross up to 2030 to expand its powerful and green generation capacity to 50 gigawatts, with around £15 billion of investment earmarked for the UK.
“RWE has many years of experience in the UK offshore wind industry and is a key partner in helping the government achieve its ambitious targets of delivering 50GW of offshore wind by 2030. We look forward to working with The Crown Estate and all our other stakeholders to take these new UK offshore wind development projects forward in support of that commitment. The Dogger Bank South projects will bring significant benefits to the UK economy, representing a potential multi-billion pound investment in UK energy infrastructure supporting jobs and local, regional and national supply chains.”