A series of consent applications for an up-to-258MW planned extension to Burbo Bank offshore wind farm has been delayed until March 2013. The applications were originally due to be submitted to UK regulators next month by developer Dong Energy.
Dong has given little indication for the delay, telling Windpower Offshore simply that its decision to delay submission of consent applications will allow it to incorporate lessons it has learned from previous submissions to the UK Planning Inspectorate.
Three inter-related applications are now scheduled for submission during March 2013:
- a development consent order application, which will include an environmental statement, to the UK Planning Inspectorate
- an onshore planning application to Denbighshire County Council
- and an offshore marine licence application to the Welsh Government’s marine consents unit (MCU).
A first round of geotechnical investigations for the Burbo Bank extension was completed by Fugro Seacore vessel, Excalibur, last month, with results indicating generally-favourable soil conditions. Ten new areas are being sampled this month, with a further round of geotechnical investigations planned for June 2013.
Dong also owns the existing 90MW Burbo Bank project, which was completed in 2007.
Other UK project delays
The delay to permitting for Burbo Bank’s comes on just weeks after similar slowdowns for other UK offshore wind projects. In October, E.ON announced a delay of "a month or two" to submission of a consent application for its up to 700MW Rampion offshore wind farm, planned for waters off the Sussex coast.
Meanwhile, a third round of public consultation for the Navitus Bay project, also planned for the English Channel, has been pushed back until February 2013.
In Scottish waters, the Argyll Array project has been delayed due to biodiversity concerns, with developer Scottish Power Renewables recently acknowledging that it may redesign the project's turbine layout to limit impacts on a breeding ground for the basking shark.