Giant wind farm set to be extended as two developers join forces
- Credit: Archant
A huge wind farm off the East Anglian coast is set to get bigger still – as two offshore developers join forces yet again.
SSE Renewables and RWE Renewables – who are co-owners of the existing Greater Gabbard wind farm off Felixstowe and Harwich ports – are set to lease another area of seabed from The Crown Estate to build a wind farm extension covering a massive 150m sq.
The existing wind farm – which lies 20km off the coast – is already able to produce about 504 megawatts (MW) of electricity.
MORE – Southern North Sea ‘could jump-start green recovery’The proposed new North Falls Offshore Wind Farm – named after the North Falls sandbank located at the southern tip of the planned site – could produce an additional 504MW – mirroring the currently output.
The joint venture company will include staff from both organisations and will be led by project manager Martin Whyte, who has more than 11 years’ experience of working in the offshore wind sector.
RWE and SSE said the proposed North Falls Offshore Wind Farm would comprise “a number” of wind turbines on fixed foundations as well as offshore and onshore electrical infrastructure.
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Mr Whyte said signing the joint venture agreement and the Agreement for Lease with The Crown Estate was “like firing the starting gun” on the project, plans for which are expected to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in 2023.
“Although we have made some early progress, we can now accelerate our activities and move properly into development,” he said.
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“The development will build on the expertise and learnings from the original project, and other shareholder developments, to ensure best practice and maximise the positive benefits.
Paul Cooley, director of capital projects at SSE Renewables, said the new project would “build on the successful offshore wind legacy in the East of England”. “We’re looking forward to working with RWE Renewables to create more clean energy, create more jobs and move towards a net zero future,” he added.
Richard Sandford, RWE’s director of offshore development Europe said the firm’s “positive” partnership with SSE Renewables on the existing Greater Gabbard Wind Farm had given them “invaluable experience that will ensure the success of the extension project”. “It is exciting to be working together again and to be further contributing to the UK’s green energy future,” he said.