Forewind has announced the project boundaries of the first four offshore wind farm projects to be developed in the Round 3 Dogger Bank Zone.
Theidentification of the boundaries for these four offshore wind farms, two that will connect into the national grid in Yorkshire and two into Teesside, is a significant step towards finalising the site selection and design of the projects.
Forewind’s head of offshore development, Gareth Lewis said that the project boundariesdefine the limits of where the offshore wind farm infrastructure, such as turbines and offshore collector and converter stations, can go as well as the space between projects.
The 8660 km2 Dogger Bank Zone is too large to be developed at once so Forewind has adopted a phased approach. With a focus on the environmental data collected through bird, marine mammal, geotechnical, geophysical and other offshore surveys, Forewind initially refined the zone into tranches, each large enough to house a number of wind farm projects. Tranche A and B were the first to be identified.
With the use of sophisticated modelling techniques, Forewind has now further subdivided the tranches into projects, with engineering and technical data used as the main considerations for this stage. Health and safety implications both during construction and in the longer-term operation of the wind farms, were also incorporated.
Each of the four identified projects has a secured grid connection capacity of 1GW however to maximise their efficiency, Forewind has allowed for the capacity of eachproject to be up to 1.2GW. The boundaries are therefore large enough to cater for all the potential infrastructure requirements.
“Environmental data was key to defining the overall developable area within Dogger Bank Zone,” Mr Lewis said. “Data gathered so far shows that environmental receptors are relatively evenly spread across the developable area, so engineering and economic criteria have had a greater influence in defining the project boundaries from within that area.
“As we continue our Environmental Impact Assessment process for each project there may be revisions to accommodate any specific environmental constraints not yet identified,” he added. “Low cost of energy is essential to ensure the best prices for consumers, to enable continued supply chain expansion and to encourage on going investment in the developing offshore wind industry.”