Equinor updates on offshore wind farm extensions

Equinor has published a summary of its phase two consultation on the Sheringham Shoal Extension and Dudgeon Extension offshore wind farm projects, which took place in summer.

Photo: Equinor

The report provides an update on proposals to the two projects in response to the consultation, and upcoming plans to meet the community.
The electricity cable route from the wind farm extension projects could affect a number of villages in the Reepham district.
The cables will come ashore at Weybourne, before being installed in a trench heading south, passing to the east of Cawston, towards a new onshore substation near the existing National Grid substation at Swardeston.
The cable trench is also planned to pass near Heydon, Brandiston, Swannington, Attlebridge and Weston Longville.
In the second phase of consultation, Equinor received more than 300 pieces of feedback from the local community with over 1,200 people visiting its virtual exhibition.
Since then, the Norwegian state-owned energy company has been refining its proposals using feedback from the consultation and more information from technical and environmental studies.
The consultation summary report highlights common feedback received during phase two and provides detail on what is being done in response.
For example, to reduce local traffic and hedgerow impacts, Equinor has committed to increase the number of trenchless road crossings by more than double along its onshore cable route for both extension projects.
The company also announced plans to visit communities in person in early 2022 to present refined proposals to the community, dependent on Covid-19 restrictions at the time.
More detail on the upcoming public information days on the offshore wind farm extension projects will be advertised closer to the time, in local media and online.
The extension projects will double the capacity of the existing Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon offshore wind farms off the Norfolk coast, providing renewable energy to power an additional 785,000 UK homes.
The projects are classified as nationally significant infrastructure projects, which means Equinor will apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Secretary of State for Business Energy and industrial Strategy.
Equinor and its partners said they are seeking to minimise potential impacts on the community and the environment by proposing a shared onshore grid connection footprint for the two projects and applying for one common DCO.
The company said it is also supporting the work already under way for a longer-term solution for more co-ordinated infrastructure in Norfolk as part of the Government’s ongoing Offshore Transmission Network Review.
The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm is owned by Equinor, Masdar and China Resources, while the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm is owned by Equinor, Equitix Offshore 5 (co-owned by Equitix and the Renewable Investment Group TRIG) and a fund managed by Macquarie Asset Management.
Currently, the combined output of both wind farms is sufficient to power around 710,000 UK homes, and the proposed extensions will increase that to more than 1.5 million households.
Download the full Phase Two Consultation Summary Report HERE.
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