Five Estuaries Offshore Wind Farm welcomes the announcement from The Crown Estate to launch a formal process to assess capacity increases as one of the seven projects in the UK being evaluated.
This process could enable a significant increase in capacity for the project, thus making an important contribution to the UK’s ambition to deploy 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
The announcement of this review doesn’t affect the final stages of the development of our application, with submission planned for February / March 2024, or the associated grid connection agreement currently in place. The capacity of the wind farm is not a determining factor in the consent decision.
With advancing turbine technologies higher capacities are capable of being reached through the use of larger and more powerful turbines within the same seabed lease area. Throughout the development process we have built in design flexibility to allow for such technological advances.
As presented at our last stage of consultation, the size and number of turbines selected will be driven by what is available on the market when Five Estuaries is built. However, our maximum design scenario for turbines (as presented at our statutory consultation in summer 2023) allows for turbines of a maximum tip height of 420m. The maximum design scenario would also allow for a larger number (up to 79) of smaller turbines.
This initiative from The Crown Estate recognises that since awarding seabed rights to these projects, offshore wind technology has improved, enabling more clean energy to be generated from the same seabed area. The final capacity will be determined based on final site design and turbine selection prior to construction.
We await the outcome of The Crown Estate process and its consultation with relevant stakeholders, including Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies and regulators.