Dogger Bank met masts still due before year-end

Draft ES for initial 2.4GW due to be unveiled Q1 2013

Installation of meteorological masts within the Dogger Bank development zone is still scheduled for this year, Windpower Offshore has learned. Hopes of an early autumn installation were dashed by delays in the completion of Fred Olsen Windcarrier’s Brave Tern, the vessel contracted to undertake the job.

Brave Tern finally left Lampell’s Dubai shipyard in early October. It is currently docked in the Maltese capital of Valletta.*

Fred Olsen group also holds a majority stake in Universal Foundation, the Danish company that has developed the innovative bucket-style foundation that will be used for the met masts at Dogger Bank and Firth of Forth. Brave Tern is heading for Belfast, where it will collect the foundations, which have been fabricated by Harland & Wolff (H&W). H&W is also owned by Fred Olsen Group.

As for permitting, a draft environmental statement (ES) is being prepared for the first 2.4GW phase of development at Dogger Bank. Known as Dogger Bank Creyke Beck, this phase will comprise two 1.2GW offshore wind farms. A second phase of consultation, which will focus on the draft ES, is due to begin in February or March 2013.

Public support for Dogger Bank Creyke Beck appears strong, thus far. The fact that none of the turbines will be visible from shore and the onshore cable will be underground may be factors, but another is local residents’ recognition that the offshore wind farms offer the prospect of new jobs, a spokesperson for the development consortium, Forewind, told Windpower Offshore.

A second development phase of up to 4.8GW, comprising four 1.2GW projects, is also making its way through permitting. This is known as Dogger Bank Teesside and is designed to follow Creyke Beck by about a year to 18 months.

Six potential sites were originally identified for Dogger Bank Teesside electricity converter stations, but these have now been narrowed down to two. Both are located on an existing industrial site near Redcar.

Forewind was created by the four companies that jointly won development rights for Dogger Bank, widely considered to be one of the most difficult of the Round 3 offshore wind zones. The four are: RWE, SSE, Statoil and Statkraft. They each hold a 25% stake. When development rights were awarded in 2010, Dogger Bank as a whole was earmarked for 9GW of offshore wind capacity, with a potential capacity of up to 13GW.

*Update 06/11/12: Since the article was originally published, Brave Tern has reached the English Channel.