Eight UK sites up for extension

UK: The UK's Crown Estate has accepted eight offshore wind projects for investigation to potentially double their capacity.

Vattenfall's 300MW Thanet offshore wind project is up for expansion

The county's seabed landlord, tasked with overseeing the use of the UK's waters, completed an initial assessment of the eight sites and will now take on a habitats regulations assessment over the next year.

Following this, expected to be completed in summer 2019, leases for the eight projects will be expanded.

Developers behind the sites will then be expected to complete environmental assessments and construction consent applications.

The projects will then be eligible to bid for UK support payments in future Contract for Difference (CfD) auction rounds. 

Under the Crown Estate criteria, each site will have a maximum extension allowance of "no greater than the capacity of the operational project". It launched the investigation into the eight sites in June.

Project Developer / Owner Capacity Turbines Commission date
Thanet Vattenfall 300MW V90-3MW September 2010
Sheringham Shoal Equinor, Macquarie,
Scira Offshore
317MW SWT-3.6-107 April 2013
Greater Gabbard SSE, Innogy 504MW SWT-3.6-107 August 2013
Gwynt y Mor Innogy, Macquarie,
Stadtwerke München, Siemens
576MW SWT-3.6-107 June 2015
Dudgeon Equinor, Masdar,
China Resources
402MW SWT-6.0-154 September 2017
Race Bank Ørsted, Macquarie 573MW SWT-6.0-154 February 2018
Galloper Innogy, Sumitomo, Macquarie,
ESB, Siemens Financial Services
353MW SWT-6.0-154 September 2018
Rampion E.on, Macquarie,
400MW V112-3.3MW Ongoing

This could lead to a potential 3.4GW of offshore wind capacity being approved, with project synergies from the original sites and new technology promoting lower costs.

The Crown Estate said it would continue to identify new areas for offshore wind deployments.