- The UK offshore wind extension projects RWE is developing with its partners could double in capacity
- Additional capacities can be achieved within the projects’ envelopes with no additional seabed required
- Projects in the Irish Sea, the southern North Sea and the English Channel
Swindon, 09 November 2023
RWE welcomes the announcement from The Crown Estate to launch a formal process to assess capacity increases at the four offshore wind extension projects it is currently developing with its project partners. This could potentially double capacity for all four projects, thus making an important contribution to the UK’s ambition to deploy 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
In 2020, RWE and its project partners signed Agreements for Lease with The Crown Estate to extend the existing offshore wind farms Gwynt y Môr, Galloper, Greater Gabbard and Rampion. These four extension projects are currently in different stages of planning development and approvals.
All projects can deliver extra green, clean electricity without increasing the area of sea bed used. It is envisaged that the additional capacity will be delivered by using new technologies, which were not available at the time of the original awarding of seabed rights.
Danielle Lane, RWE’s Director of Development for UK and Ireland, added: “We welcome the decision of The Crown Estate to consider an increased capacity for these four development projects. As the largest power generator in the UK, we have ambitions to invest up to £15bn in new clean energy projects and infrastructure by 2030. To enable a project to produce more electricity within the same seabed envelope is an effective and efficient use of resources.”
- Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm (576 MW, 288 MW RWE pro rata) extension, Awel y Môr, off the coast of North Wales recently received its Development Consent Order.
- Galloper Offshore Wind Farm ( 353 MW, 88 MW RWE pro rata ), extension Five Estuaries, is in the Southern North Sea, expects to submit its Development Consent Order in February / March 2024.
- Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm (504 MW, 252 MW RWE pro rata), extension North Falls, also located in the southern North Sea, expects to submit its Development Consent Order in 2024.
- Rampion Offshore Wind Farm (400 MW, 200MW RWE pro rata), extension Rampion 2, located approximately 13km off the Sussex coast, recently submitted its Development Consent Order to the Planning Inspectorate.
The Crown Estate process will balance the projects' economic and clean energy potential with their commitments to nature and biodiversity. Any decisions taken will be subject to a ‘Plan-Level Habitats Regulations Assessment’ (HRA) to understand the collective environmental impact of the additional capacity across all seven extension projects. This will include consultation with relevant stakeholders, including Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (SNCBs) and regulators.
RWE is a leading global player in renewables and number 2 worldwide in offshore wind. Its unparalleled expertise over the last 20 years has resulted in 19 offshore wind farms in operation. The extension projects will help to support the company’s goal to grow its global offshore wind capacity from 3.3 to 8 gigawatts by 2030.
RWE is the leading power generator in the UK, supplying around 15% of the country’s electricity, with a diverse operational portfolio of renewables including onshore wind, offshore wind, hydro and biomass with a combined installed capacity of over 2.79 gigawatts (GW) (pro rata), 4.8 GW (installed capacity.)
RWE has more than two decades’ experience in offshore wind in the UK, having developed and built the country’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm at North Hoyle. Since then, RWE has established 10 offshore wind farms across the UK and is currently building the 1.4 gigawatts (GW) Sofia offshore wind farm, off the east coast. RWE has a strong future pipeline in the UK and is involved in four of the UK’s seven offshore wind extension projects, plus two Round 4 Dogger Bank South projects.