Equinor Presses Ahead with Norfolk Offshore Wind Extensions

Equinor has launched the second community consultation for the Norfolk offshore wind farm extensions in the UK.

The developer has also published the Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) for the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm Extension Projects (SEP and DEP).

The two projects will double the capacity of the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon offshore wind farms, off the Norfolk coast, providing renewable energy to an additional 820,000 UK homes.

The development of SEP and DEP are being brought forward by operator Equinor on behalf of the owners.

During this six-week period of community consultation, from 29 April to10 June 2021, Equinor is seeking feedback on all aspects of its proposals, but in particular relating to the refinement of the 200 metres wide onshore cable corridor; the developer’s preferred options for onshore construction compound locations; refinement of the landfall working area; landfall cable corridor routing proposals; shortlisted onshore substation site options; onshore substation access options; and ffshore array area and seascape views.

SEP and DEP are classified as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) which means Equinor will apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The publication of the PEIR is a key milestone in the DCO pre-application process, Equinor said. It contains the refined plans following last year’s phase one community consultation, which took place during July and August 2020, together with the results from the environmental surveys and studies which have been taking place since late 2019.

It also includes landscape and seascape visualisations of the proposals.

Two Projects, One DCO

Equinor and its partners are seeking to minimise potential impacts on the community and the environment by pursuing a shared onshore footprint for the two projects and applying for one common DCO.

This is an industry-first; two separately owned projects have never made a common DCO application before, and it is hoped this joined-up approach will pave the way for other coordinated projects in the UK, Equinor said.

Equinor intends to submit the joint DCO application by the end of 2021. A summary report will be issued after this phase two community consultation, to explain how the feedback received has been considered in the further development of the projects.

Photo: Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm