Dogger Bank C Offshore Wind (formerly known as Dogger Bank Teesside A) and Sofia Offshore Wind Farm (wholly owned by innogy) have submitted a joint non-material change application to the Secretary of State (SoS) for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to amend the Development Consent Order (DCO) that was granted for the offshore wind farm and onshore and offshore cabling in 2016. The application is related to the approach to be taken towards the development and construction of the onshore electrical infrastructure near Redcar, in Teesside.
The Dogger Bank C and Sofia offshore wind farms are located next to each other on the Dogger Bank in the North Sea and their offshore export cables will run in parallel for more than 200 kilometres to the landfall between Redcar and Marske-by-the-Sea. Each offshore export cable will connect to an onshore cable that will run 7 kilometres to a new converter station – one for each project – to be constructed to the north east of Lazenby. Each project will have a further 2 kilometre cable to transport power to the existing National Grid substation at Lackenby, where it will enter the national grid.
Although the two projects share much in terms of geography, because they are owned by separate companies, their construction programmes will largely differ. While the aim is for some joint onshore working to reduce the impacts of construction on local residents, the projects have their own milestones and timeframes.
For this reason, innogy and Dogger Bank Wind Farm have submitted a joint non-material change application to amend aspects of the original Development Consent Order, thereby enabling flexibility in the approach to construction.
Statutory and local stakeholders are being informed of the application and invited to read the relevant documentation, which is online below as well as at the website of the National Infrastructure Planning and Sofia website.
The proposed amendments seek to split a number of the construction activities so that:
(a) certain works can be carried out for one project by its owner
(b) certain works can be carried out for both projects by one owner on behalf of the other; and
(c) certain works can be either be carried out for one project by its owner or for both projects by one owner on behalf of the other.
The proposed changes in the joint application are primarily administrative and functional and do not affect the environmental assessment outcomes for either project. The joint application will also seek to make some straightforward corrections.
While the application does in some ways seek to separate the projects, it is recognised by the project owners – Dogger Bank Wind Farm and innogy – that there remain many synergies and therefore both organisations seek to cooperate as and when it is feasible. The aim is to minimise disruption and work together to reduce intrusive works if possible.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the period for feedback on the application has been extended from 28 days to 42 days, with comments due by July 2, 2020.