Planning consent for the gigantic Dogger Bank Creyke Beck wind farm, set to become the world’s biggest offshore wind power project, has been granted by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
The project will have a total generating capacity of 2.4GW, enough to meet the needs of around two million British households. Once built, it is expected to be one of the UK’s largest sources of electricity, supplying 8 terawatt-hours of green energy per year – or 2.5 per cent of the nation’s energy requirements.
Covering a 500-square kilometre area off the UK coast, Dogger Bank Creyke Beck will consist of 400 fixed-foundation turbines split into two separate wind farms (Creyke Beck A and B), each with a capacity of 1.2GW.
Located in relatively shallow waters 130km east of the established Creyke Beck substation near Cottingham, Yorkshire, the project could be the beginning of a much larger proposed wind development, the Dogger Bank zone, which comprises six sites with an estimated total capacity of up to 7.2GW.
According to the Crown Estate, which owns the rights to the UK seabed and manages offshore wind farm development, the sheer scale of the Dogger Bank Creyke Beck project means it can be built at significantly lower costs, and creates a powerful opportunity for economic growth.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey gave the go-ahead the plans and said the approval of large-scale renewable energy projects was of direct benefit to the UK economy.
“Making the most of Britain’s home grown energy is creating jobs and businesses in the UK, getting the best deal for consumers and reducing our reliance on foreign imports,” he said. “Wind power is vital to this plan, with £14.5 billion (AU$28.5 billion) invested since 2010 into an industry which supports 35,400 jobs.”
Forewind, the international consortium behind Dogger Bank Creyke Beck, spent £60 million (AU$117 million) on surveying the vast wind farm site, with the majority of funds going to UK contractors.
Forewind General Manager, Tarald Gjerde, said the project could create up to 4750 new direct and indirect full time jobs on the east coast and generate £1.5 billion (AU$2.9 billion) for the British economy.
“Achieving consent for what is currently the world’s largest offshore wind project in development is a major achievement for Forewind and will help confirm the UK’s position as the world leader in the industry,” Mr Gjerde said. “It is testament to the stellar efforts made by the outstanding Forewind team, and to the invaluable support given by a wide range of expert consultants and specialist suppliers.”