Approval paves way for world’s largest offshore wind farm

Posted: August 6, 2015 by oldbrew in Big Green, Energy, wind

Windy enough today?

Windy enough today?

There goes another £8 billion pounds or so for unreliable part-time power.

The second half of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, which will be built in the North Sea, has received planning consent from the Government, as E & T Magazine reports.

The Dogger Bank Teesside A and B project proposed by the Forewind consortium of SSE, RWE, Statkraft and Statoil would see as many as 400 turbines built around 100 miles off England’s North East coast, with the potential to power roughly two million homes.

The Government granted a similar sized scheme, also at Dogger Bank, planning consent in February, and combined, the two adjacent projects would be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm.

Forewind general manager, Tarald Gjerde said: “It represents a real opportunity for the UK to receive even more of its energy from its abundant wind resource while creating significant economic benefits, particularly for the north eastern regions.”

The development would include onshore elements in Redcar and Cleveland, near Middlesbrough, and Forewind said the Teesside A and B projects could create 4,750 direct and indirect jobs, generating £1.5bn for the UK economy.

On top of the turbines, the project could see eight collector platforms built, four accommodation or helicopter platforms, 10 weather stations and two converter stations.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Bourne said: “As we build the Northern Powerhouse, we want local communities to reap the benefits of investment and green jobs from low carbon developments like Dogger Bank Offshore wind project.”

The location was chosen due to seabed conditions and wind speed as well as shallow waters that make it ideally suited to power generation, the consortium said, and electricity will be brought via up to two sets of export cables to a landing point between Redcar and Marske-by-the-Sea before being fed into the National Grid.

RenewableUK, which represents the renewable energy industry, said the development would cover an area of seabed of around 600 square km.

Its chief executive, Maria McCaffery said: “This awe-inspiring offshore wind project has taken another significant step forward. The sheer size of Dogger Bank illustrates just how large the environmental and economic opportunities are in the North Sea for the UK’s world-leading offshore wind industry.”

Dogger Bank, a large area of sand banks, is an important site for plaice and sand eel fishing and is a marine protected area and a senior figure in the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) said trawlermen have expressed concerns about how their industry will be able to work alongside these huge wind farms.

Full report: Approval paves way for world's largest offshore wind farm – E & T Magazine.

  1. And they’re quite happy with the fog generation potential of the turbulence generators?

    Not foggy enough on the Dogger Bank?

  2. Whist it is necessary to invest in renewables I find it alarming that this amount of money can be committed at a time when there is so much uncertainty over the reliability of wind. How do we know that as the climate changes the North Sea will not become even calmer than it is now?

    This is the opening line of a paper that was published in December 2014.

    “Current understanding of the behaviour of sea breezes in the offshore environment is limited but rapidly requires improvement due, not least, to the expansion of the offshore wind energy industry.”

    Modelling sea-breeze climatologies and interactions on coasts in the southern North Sea: implications for offshore wind energy

  3. Bloke down the pub says:

    Bernd, wouldn’t the turbulence generated by the turbines help to mix up the lower air levels and reduce fog?

  4. ivan says:

    I know that they like to shout about how many mythical houses these wind farms can power but I have a question. How much power does the mythical house use and when they talk of that power usage does it include cooking, heating and hot water as well a lighting and refrigeration?

    Enquireing minds would love to know.

  5. BLACK PEARL says:

    Approvals one thing, they still have to find the funds for this and will there still be a momentum or necessity for such a large difficult expensive to maintain project a few years from now

    Does the crown estates get some remuneration from offshore ?

  6. Joe Public says:

    “On top of the turbines, the project could see ……. helicopter platforms ….”


  7. Fanakapan says:

    Agree with BLACK PEARL 🙂

    If I had the sort of seed money that this project would require in order to start sucking subsidy ( I wish) I’d have to be somewhat worried that the renewables landscape is looking decidedly dodgy in the long term.

    I’m wondering if the G, having signalled that the Green Boondoggle is no longer a ‘Guaranteed’ long term money maker, is not manoeuvring in order that the inevitable wailing of the concerned middle class can be pointed in a direction other than their own, should this project fail to materialise.

  8. BLACK PEARL says:

    This will be more useful
    How does it work exactly ?

    Does Crown Estates get kick back from all offshore income ?

  9. Ivan: They should use the official government data produced by DECC. It includes all domestic electricity consumption and is broken down by local authorities.

  10. Joe Public says:

    Ivan, the answer is here, bottom of page & top of following page:

    Prof David MacKay FRS

    “Annoying units

    There’s a whole bunch of commonly used units that are annoying for various
    reasons. I’ve figured out what some of them mean. I list them here,
    to help you translate the media stories you read.
    The “home” is commonly used when describing the power of renewable
    facilities. For example, “The £300 million Whitelee wind farm’s 140 turbines
    will generate 322 MW – enough to power 200 000 homes.” The
    “home” is defined by the BritishWind Energy Association to be a power of
    4700 kWh per year []. That’s 0.54 kW,
    or 13 kWh per day.
    (A few other organizations use 4000 kWh/y per household.)
    The “home” annoys me because I worry that people confuse it with the
    total power consumption of the occupants of a home – but the latter is actually about 24 times bigger. The “home” covers the average domestic electricity
    consumption of a household, only. Not the household’s home heating.
    Nor their workplace. Nor their transport. Nor all the energy-consuming
    things that society does for them.
    Incidentally, when they talk of the CO2 emissions of a “home,” the
    official exchange rate appears to be 4 tons CO2 per home per year.”

  11. And how many mythical homes do they power when there’s no wind..?

  12. Skeptik says:

    Instead of using the words “with the potential to power roughly two million homes” why don’t they say “with the ABILITY to power roughly two million homes”

  13. catweazle666 says:

    Helicopter platforms? On top of bat mincers?

    Dear me, I do believe they really are that stupid.

    Truly, it beggars the imagination.

  14. michael hart says:

    “Instead of using the words “with the potential to power roughly two million homes” why don’t they say “with the ABILITY to power roughly two million homes””

    Probably because when the wind speed falls to zero, the ability to power anything also falls to zero.
    But the potential can still be claimed.

  15. p.g.sharrow says:

    “With the potential to power roughly two million homes” Per name plate maximum output. Not to be confused with actual output due to “Force Major” acts of GOD or lack of Ideal wind conditions.

    Windfarms are created to “farm” government largess and the rate payers. Dependable electrical supply is the problem for someone else.

    Scrap these things and the people that champion them.

    We Don’t Need Them… pg

  16. Richard111 says:

    Excuse my ignorance. Dogger Bank…. shifting sands…. what will the foundations be like?

  17. oldbrew says:

    Richard: ‘The location was chosen due to seabed conditions and wind speed as well as shallow waters that make it ideally suited to power generation’

    Doesn’t say what those seabed conditions are like but they must think it’s feasible.

  18. oldbrew says:

    Science of Doom is running a series on renewables – part 3 looks reasonably unbiased but haven’t viewed 1 and 2.

    The tricky question is how big a percentage of a national electricity grid can be based on renewables before it becomes ‘difficult’ to balance demand with supply. Is it even a percentage-based question?

  19. ivan says:

    Thanks Joe. It would appear that this idea of the mythical home power usage is one pulled out of thin air just like the 2 degree limit was and is just as meaningless which was what I assumed.

    To get a real figure of how many real homes they can power for a very limited time it would appear that we need to take their number and divide by 50 – and that only applies for a very windy day and a limited number of days in the year..

  20. edmh says:

    A few real numbers for Renewable Energy in Europe using Renewable Energy Industry data sources.

    The cost of a conventional gas-fired generation is about €1billion / Gigawatt.

    Accounting for capacity factors the capital cost of all European Renewable Energy installations is about €29billion / Gigawatt.

    Greens, the Government and the BBC obviously think this is a great way to spend other peoples money.

    By 2014 European Union countries had invested approximately €1 trillion in large scale Renewable Energy installations. This may well be an underestimate.

    This has provided a nameplate electrical generating capacity of about 216 Gigawatts, nominally about ~22% of the total European generation needs of some 1000 Gigawatts.

    The actual measured output by 2014 from Renewable Industry sources has been 38 Gigawatts or 3.8% of Europe’s electricity requirement, at a capacity factor of ~18% overall.

    The whole 1000 Gigawatt fleet of European electricity generation installations could have been replaced with lower capital cost Gas-fired installations for the €1trillion of capital costs already expended on Renewable Energy in Europe.

    However Renewable Energy production is dependent on the seasons, local weather conditions and the rotation of the earth, day and night.

    So the Renewable Energy contribution to the electricity supply grid is inevitably erratic, intermittent and non-dispatchable. It is therefore much less useful than dispatchable sources of electricity, which can be engaged whenever necessary to match demand and maintain grid stability.

    That 3.8% Renewable Energy contribution to the grid is often not available when needed and obversely its mandatory use can cause major grid disruption if the Renewable Energy contribution is suddenly over abundant.

    The Renewable Energy industry could not exist without the Government mandated subsidies and preferential tariffs on which it depends. It is not a viable business proposition

    Viewed from the point of view of the engineering viability of the nation’s electrical grid, Renewable Energy would never be part of the generating mix without its Government mandate and interference.

    The Greens in their mock enthusiasm to save the world will destroy civilisation long before the world fails from excessive overheating from CO2 emissions.


  21. bit chilly says:

    typical watermelons . the dogger bank is home to the largest biomass of sandeel anywhere in european waters. they are one of the prime prey species not only of fish, but many sea birds.

    construction on that scale could wipe out several year classes ,yet the same peple that were bitching and moaning bout the sandeels being burned in danish power stations are silent when it is wind turbines wiping them out.

    [reply] green man speak with forked tongue 😐