Equinor extends Norfolk extension preapplication period

Equinor has extended the preapplication period for the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon offshore wind farm extension projects. The company wishes to allow more time for additional analysis and to further develop the proposals.

Originally, the Development Consent Order (DCO) application was due to be submitted by the end of 2021. However, now Equinor plans to submit it by early Summer 2022. The DCO application will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS).

The two extension projects will double the capacity of the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon offshore wind farms, currently operating off the coast of Norfolk. Equinor estimates that the extensions will provide enough power for an additional 820,000 UK households.

Kari-Hege Mørk, Equinor’s Project Director for SEP and DEP, said: “Throughout the development of the wind farms we have presented technical and environmental information as plans have been refined, and been in close dialogue with key stakeholders such as statutory nature conservation bodies, as well as the local community and interested parties. We want to thank all those that took the time to respond to our consultations, we greatly appreciate your time.

“We have taken the decision to carry out additional analysis on seabird species and further develop proposals, in case environmental mitigation and ornithology compensatory measures are required in accordance with BEIS’ new requirements.

“We are confident that this extra time will allow us to take into account the thorough feedback on our proposals. It also allows us more time to engage with the local community and now that restrictions have lifted, we intend to use the time to visit communities in person.”

Under Ofgem’s ongoing Offshore Transmission Network Review, the two extension projects are “Early Opportunities” projects. The DCO application, then, will include proposals for an integrated grid connection alongside proposals for separate grid connections for each project, within the same overall onshore footprint. Equinor would prefer to deliver the integrated grid connection, if appropriate regulatory changes are in place.

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