Forewind Announces First Four Dogger Bank Project Boundaries (UK)
Forewind has announced the project boundaries of the first four offshore wind farm projects to be developed in the Round 3 Dogger Bank Zone.
The identification of the boundaries for these four offshore wind farms, two that will connect into the national grid in Yorkshire and two into Teesside, is a significant step towards finalising the site selection and design of the projects.
Forewind’s head of offshore development, Gareth Lewis said that the project boundaries define the limits of where the offshore wind farm infrastructure, such as turbines and offshore collector and converter stations, can go as well as the space between projects.
The 8660 km2 Dogger Bank Zone is too large to be developed at once so Forewind has adopted a phased approach. With a focus on the environmental data collected through bird, marine mammal, geotechnical, geophysical and other offshore surveys, Forewind initially refined the zone into tranches, each large enough to house a number of wind farm projects. Tranche A and B were the first to be identified.
With the use of sophisticated modelling techniques, Forewind has now further subdivided the tranches into projects, with engineering and technical data used as the main considerations for this stage. Health and safety implications both during construction and in the longer-term operation of the wind farms, were also incorporated.
Each of the four identified projects has a secured grid connection capacity of 1GW however to maximise their efficiency, Forewind has allowed for the capacity of each project to be up to 1.2GW. The boundaries are therefore large enough to cater for all the potential infrastructure requirements.
“Environmental data was key to defining the overall developable area within Dogger Bank Zone,” Mr Lewis said. “Data gathered so far shows that environmental receptors are relatively evenly spread across the developable area, so engineering and economic criteria have had a greater influence in defining the project boundaries from within that area.
“As we continue our Environmental Impact Assessment process for each project there may be revisions to accommodate any specific environmental constraints not yet identified,” he added. “Low cost of energy is essential to ensure the best prices for consumers, to enable continued supply chain expansion and to encourage on going investment in the developing offshore wind industry.”
The four projects are:
Dogger Bank Creyke Beck A, located in the southern part of Tranche A, with a size of 515km2 and 131 kilometres from shore at its closest point;
Dogger Bank Creyke Beck B, located in the western part of Tranche A, the largest in area with a size of 599km2 and also 131 kilometres from shore at its closest point;
Dogger Bank Teesside A, located within the eastern part of Tranche B, with a size of 560km2 and with closest point from shore at 196km, and
Dogger Bank Teesside B, which straddles Tranche A and Tranche B, with the majority of the project located in Tranche B. It is 593km2 and is 165km from shore at its closest point.
All four projects have predominant water depths of less than 35 metres below lowest astronomical tide (LAT).
Since undertaking its detailed assessments and calculations on the Dogger Bank Zone, Forewind has revised its ambition to achieve consent for up to 9.6GW of offshore wind farm projects, which is still greater than the original 9GW target zone capacity agreed with The Crown Estate when the Round 3 zones were awarded in 2010. This 9.6GW figure equates to around 10 per cent of the UK’s projected electricity requirements. In total the zone will be developed as a series of up to eight separate similar-sized wind farm projects.
Further surveys and modelling will continue to identify the boundaries for the additional two offshore wind farm projects with agreed grid connections in Teesside (Teesside C and D), while Forewind is also working closely with the National Grid to identify suitable grid connections for the remaining projects.
Press release, November 15, 2012; Image: Forewind