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17 May 2010

Extension to Rounds 1 and 2 of UK offshore wind programme to power 1.4 million UK homes

Three Round 1 and Round 2 offshore wind farm operators have been selected to extend five sites, creating an additional 1.7 GW. The project extensions, which would be enough electricity to meet the needs of up to 1.4 million homes in the UK.

 

In addition, a further 340 MW has been offered to increase capacity within the current Round 1 and 2 site areas for two other projects. These awards will help to provide a stable flow of construction projects to the offshore wind supply chain in advance of Round 3.

The selected developers are existing Round 1 and 2 operators and will finalise agreements with The Crown Estate in the coming weeks. After this, developers will commence the statutory consenting process. Each area extension will require a full, new planning application including an Environmental Impact Assessment and a full consultation. The Crown Estate will only grant a lease allowing construction to start when statutory consents have been obtained from appropriate decision making bodies.

SSE Renewables and RWE Npower Renewables’ Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm will be extended to 504 MW through the Galloper wind farm extension. The Kentish Flats offshore wind farm being developed by Vattenfall Wind Power will be enlarged to 51 MW. Vattenfall’s Thanet plant will also increase to 147 MW. Dong Wind Energy UK’s Burbo Bank wind farm will be extended to 234 MW, while its Walney facility will be increased to 750 MW.

It is anticipated that construction of the Round 1 and 2 extensions will commence in 2014, subject to consents, with completion of all projects by the end of 2016 in advance of Round 3. In making the awards, The Crown Estate has placed emphasis on the timely delivery of the additional offshore wind capacity. Successful applications have demonstrated that the extensions can be consented, constructed and operational within agreed timescales. The extensions will benefit from synergies with the original projects, with in some cases the potential for the sharing of construction crews and vessels, as well as electrical systems, construction bases, ports and onshore facilities.

Rob Hastings, The Crown Estate’s director of the marine estate, said: “I am delighted that we have today announced a further 2 GW for Round 1 and 2 extensions. This 2 GW has been driven by developers’ appetite and will increase the total potential 2020 installed capacity to 48 GW. It is another positive step in the maturing of the offshore wind industry and will significantly support the growth of the supply chain as it adds further to the pipeline of construction projects. This announcement shows The Crown Estate’s commitment to help develop this maturing sector with a view to driving the UK offshore wind energy industry forward and to creating a long-term sustainable energy source for the UK.”