News

UK offshore renewables powerhouse another significant step closer

Consent awarded for the third 'Round 2' offshore wind project

Monday 19 February 2007

BWEA has warmly welcomed today’s consent for a new offshore wind farm by Secretary of State Alistair Darling. The project – Greater Gabbard – is the third consent to be awarded in the UK’s second phase of development offshore, following December’s consents for London Array and Thanet.

The 500 MW at Greater Gabbard brings the UK’s consented offshore portfolio to 2,484 MW, with an additional 303 MW already operating and 294 MW under construction.

Together these represent 3,081 MW of potential capacity – equivalent to over 2.5% of UK electricity supplies and a vital contribution to securing sustainable energy for the future.

BWEA Chief Executive Maria McCaffery MBE said:

“BWEA is delighted by the next consent in the second phase of the UK’s world-leading offshore programme. The significance of this decision, aside from the notable benefits to the UK in terms of clean carbon free generation, is the continuing clear signal from the UK to the rest of the world that this country is open for business for offshore wind and we look forward to more consents in the near future.”

The UK is at the forefront of the offshore wind industry, with potentially 8,700 megawatts of projects at various stages of development, and is set to overtake Denmark as the leader in installed offshore wind generating capacity in 2008.

Notes
BWEA is the UK’s leading renewable energy association, representing the interests of all major stakeholders in the development and delivery of clean and sustainable electricity from wind, wave and tidal sources.
Wind energy has now started a major expansion in the UK and will be the single greatest contributor to the Government’s 10% 2010 renewable energy target and 20% 2020 renewable aspiration. Together, wind, wave and tidal power can supply 21% of our electricity by 2020, resulting in over £16 billion of investment in UK plc. See www.bwea.com/energyreview

UK offshore wind
There are two phases of development offshore in the UK – Round 1 which awarded 17 sites with 30 turbines and Round 2 – a far greater scope with higher numbers of turbines and at greater distances from shore.
In addition to the 4 MW pilot project at Blyth, four Round 1 projects are already operating, North Hoyle, Scroby Sands, Kentish Flats and Barrow, with a further project, Burbo Bank (pictured above), already under construction and contracts signed for work on Robin Rigg, which at 180 MW, will be the UK’s largest offshore wind farm to date, and is expected to complete Spring 2009. Construction contracts for two further R1 projects are expected imminently. See www.bwea.com/offshore

Three consents have now been awarded in Round 2 – London Array, Thanet and Greater Gabbard – respectively for 1,000 MW, 300 MW and 500 MW – with a further 12 projects totalling 6,200 MW at various stages of development.

Greater Gabbard – 140 turbines generating 500 MW, located 23km (12 miles) from the Suffolk coast, close to two shallow sandbanks - the Inner Gabbard and the Galloper. Developed by Airtricity and Fluor, the sites will occupy an area of nearly 150 square kilometres within the outer Thames Estuary strategic wind farm area. See www.greatergabbard.com