Eneco Announces Location of Offshore Wind Park (UK)

The location for a proposed offshore wind park off the Dorset and Hampshire coasts and to the west of the Isle of Wight, which will provide enough renewable power for between 615,000 and 820,000 homes, has been announced by Eneco, developers of the project.

In January 2010, The Crown Estate awarded Eneco a 279 square mile area of the seabed to explore the most suitable place to locate a wind park with an approximate capacity of at least 900MW. Over the past year, Eneco has been appraising the area and has concluded that a project of between 900MW and 1200MW of capacity could be located in the northern part of the awarded area, a site which covers 76 square miles. Please see the map below outlining the location of the wind park marked in green.

At the closest point, the wind park will be approximately 8.2 miles (13.2km) away from Peveril Point in Swanage. The northern boundary of the site is located 10.2 miles (16.4km) from Bournemouth and 8.4 miles (13.5km) south west of The Needles and the Isle of Wight coast.

The decision on the wind park location was reached after Eneco conducted a Zone Appraisal and Planning (ZAP) process in accordance with guidance from The Crown Estate. This is a new non-statutory strategic planning process designed to give developers a view of their zone as a whole. In order to make the decision, feedback from meetings with stakeholders throughout the year and public information days held in November 2010 were considered. Additionally, findings from engineering and environmental surveys were assessed as part of the decision making process. Now that the wind park location has been identified, Eneco will undertake a formal consultation process in accordance with the Planning Act of 2008 on the project as a whole. Next steps include consultation on the onshore infrastructure associated with connecting the wind park with the National Grid and conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Chris Sherrington, director of the project said: “After comprehensively evaluating key aspects of the project in relation to wider stakeholder interests, we have chosen the most suitable location for the wind park. This is an important milestone in the lifetime of the development of this project and enables us to look to the future and consider wider impacts such as the positive economic benefits our project could bring to the area.”

Alastair Dutton, head of Round 3, The Crown Estate said: “We welcome today’s announcement from Eneco. It’s a positive step towards delivery and an essential part of their commitment to engaging with local stakeholders.”

Eneco will be holding a series of public information days to give the general public an opportunity to hear more about the Zone Appraisal and Planning (ZAP) process and the location of the wind park. These will be held between the 16th – 31st March 2011 at the following venues:

• Weymouth: Pavilion Theatre – Wednesday 16th March 2011

• Poole: RNLI Lifeboat College – Thursday 17th March 2011

• Newport, Isle of Wight: Quay Arts Centre – Wednesday 23rd March 2011

• Lymington: Lymington Community Centre – Thursday 24th March 2011

• Christchurch: Regent Centre – Friday 25th March 2011

• Bournemouth: Pavilion Theatre – Wednesday 30th March 2011

• Swanage: Mowlem Theatre – Thursday 31st March 2011


Source: ENECO, February 17, 2011