Denmark Starts Search for New Areas In Case Hesselø OWF Site Is Deemed Unsuitable

As the analysis of the seabed suitability for an offshore wind farm continues for the Hesselø project site, the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) is now searching for alternative areas for the second of the three large-scale offshore wind farms Denmark is planning to build under the Energy Agreement from 2018, in case the Hesselø site is deemed unsuitable.

The Danish Energy Agency

The DEA said it was initiating a “fine screening” of alternative areas, which is an initial assessment of suitability for the establishment of an offshore wind farm, including the effects on costs, grid connection work, environment, and planning conditions. The fine screening includes areas registered for the Marine Plan and both areas that have previously been fine-screened and new areas.

As alternative locations for the second offshore wind farm under the country’s 2018 Energy Agreement, the DEA is exploring five areas:

  • A scaled-down Hesselø area + the area south of the current Hesselø area.
  • A scaled-down Hesselø area + Kattegat 2, an area west of the current Hesselø area.
  • Kriegers Flak 2.
  • A scaled-down Hesselø area + Kriegers Flak 2 North, the northern of the two sites that make up Kriegers Flak 2.
  • Nordsøen 1 (North Sea 1), the areas south of the Thor offshore wind farm.
An image mapping possible alternative areas for Denmark's second large scale offshore wind farm
The Danish Energy Agency

A few months ago, the DEA paused the tendering procedure for the Hesselø project after preliminary seabed surveys identified soft clay bottoms in large parts of the designated site, especially in the northern and western part of the area and in the upper 20-30 metres below the seabed.

Together with the Danish transmission system operator (TSO) Energinet, the DEA has now also invited the potential developers to pitch in on the case by diving into the seabed data and assisting with an assessment of whether the project is still attractive to be developed and built within its current framework.

Based on the input provided by the potential developers as well as further analyses, the DEA will assess whether the tender for the Hesselø offshore wind farm can continue under the current framework.

If new political decisions are required in order to move ahead with the project, the parties behind the 2020 Climate Agreement for energy and industry must re-assess whether the Hesselø wind farm site is still the preferred solution, or whether this second offshore wind farm mentioned in the 2018 Energy Agreement should instead be established at an alternative site, the DEA said.

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Hesselø is planned to become the second offshore wind projects from the 2018 Energy Agreement, in which it was decided to establish three new large-scale offshore wind farms of at least 800 MW by 2030, with Thor being the first of the three.

With the Climate Agreement from 2020, it was decided to place the second offshore wind farm in the Kattegat, 30 kilometres north of Zealand and some 20 kilometres offshore the island of Hesselø, and for the third wind farm to be built as part of Denmark’s energy island project.