Royal Haskoning Helps Vattenfall to Extend Kentish Flats Wind Farm (UK)
Royal Haskoning plays a key role in helping Vattenfall become the first offshore energy company to be cleared for examination by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), and move a step closer to achieving its plan to extend an existing offshore wind farm.
Following an extensive community consultation and Environmental Impact Assessment, Vattenfall plans to extend the existing Kentish Flats wind farm off the Kent coast by up to 17 new turbines, successfully cleared a major planning hurdle earlier this month, when the company’s Environmental Statement and supporting materials were accepted for examination by the IPC on 10 November.
In 2009 environmental consultancy Royal Haskoning carried out a feasibility study to extend the existing Round 1 wind farm at Kentish Flats, using its considerable consenting experience and environmental expertise to help the renewable power generator achieve this vital first stage of the new planning process.
Goran Loman, Vattenfall’s Project Manager for the Kentish Flats Offshore Wind Farm Extension, said: “We are pleased that our proposal for a wind farm extension at Kentish Flats has been accepted for examination by the IPC. It was a really testing hurdle and we put everything into ensuring we delivered a good community consultation and environmental impact assessment. Royal Haskoning provided excellent support from the outset with its expertise on environmental factors, such as marine mammals and ornithology, and experience in consenting for offshore wind projects such as this.”
Royal Haskoning’s Project Manager Paolo Pizzolla said: “This is the first offshore wind farm proposal to be accepted by the IPC. Being first into the new system means many precedents will be set by the project for how the IPC deals with offshore wind farms in the future. This includes application of the ‘Rochdale Envelope’ approach which allows for flexibility for the eventual design of the wind farm within the assessment.
“The new process aims to ‘front-load’ much of the consultation with stakeholders to ensure their concerns are taken into account in the final development put forward for consent. To ensure we met all the IPC’s requirements, we worked very closely with Vattenfall, their legal advisers and the IPC itself, as well as Natural England, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), and key stakeholders including the RSPB. This has been a learning experience for all parties. We are very pleased to have helped Vattenfall successfully complete this first stage and look forward to helping it maintain its status as a strong leader in the offshore energy industry going forward.”
Vattenfall is now applying for a Development Consent Order (DCO) under the Planning Act 2008, for the offshore elements of the project. Royal Haskoning will continue to support Vattenfall with technical and environmental advice throughout the DCO application examination process, which is expected to be completed in Autumn 2012.
Royal Haskoning also supports Vattenfall on what is currently, the worlds largest operational offshore wind farm at Thanet.
Offshore WIND staff, November 30, 2011; Image: vattenfall