The summary report provides an update on proposals to the two wind farm projects in response to the consultation, and upcoming plans to meet the community.
The second phase of consultation was completed in the summer, and Equinor received over 300 pieces of feedback from the local community and welcomed over 1200 visitors to its virtual exhibition. Since then, the company has been refining their proposals using feedback from the consultation and more information from technical and environmental studies.
The consultation summary report published today, highlights common feedback received at 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 SEP and DEP.
Equinor has also announced their plans to visit communities in person in early 2022 to present refined proposals to the community, dependent on Covid 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.
SEP and DEP 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 and making an important contribution to the UK’s decarbonisation goals.
Kari-Hege Mørk, Equinor’s Project Director for SEP and DEP said: “Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to our consultation. We received lots of insightful feedback on our proposals and have been carefully considering all comments and suggestions. We also took the decision to allow more time for further studies, to ensure that our proposals are robust ahead of our application submission in early summer 2022.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity to visit Norfolk in early 2022 to update communities on our refined proposals following the valuable feedback that was received”.
SEP and DEP are classified as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) which means Equinor will apply for a DCO from the Secretary of State for Business Energy and industrial Strategy (BEIS). Equinor and its partners 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. This is an industry first; two separately owned projects have never made a common DCO application before, and it is hoped this joined-up approach will pave the way for other coordinated projects in the UK.
Equinor is also supporting the work already underway for a longer term solution for more coordinated infrastructure in Norfolk as part of the Government’s ongoing Offshore Transmission Network Review.
About Equinor in Norfolk
Equinor is a long-term partner for Norfolk and has been an active member of the community for over a decade through the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon wind farms it operates off the Norfolk coast.
The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm is owned by Equinor, Masdar and China Resources, whilst 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 UK households.
Both wind farms have established community funds which in total have awarded over £1 million to projects in Norfolk. The funds were set up to provide grants to Norfolk community groups, including schools and NGOs, seeking financial assistance for projects or initiatives that meet key criteria and focus on renewable energy, marine environment and safety, sustainability, or education in these areas.
During 2020, the funds provided grant funding to the Norfolk Community Foundation’s COVID-19 funding initiatives, and during 2021 grant funding has been made available to support Norfolk’s ‘every child on-line’ initiative.
SEP and DEP are ‘Early Opportunities’ projects under Ofgem’s ongoing Offshore Transmission Network Review. The DCO application will provide for an integrated grid connection, as well as separate grid connections for each project, within the same overall onshore footprint. It is Equinor’s preference to deliver the integrated grid connection as long as the necessary regulatory changes are in place to facilitate this.
For media enquiries, please contact:
T: 07771 918009
For consultation of community enquiries, please contact:
Nigel Tompkins, the Projects’ Community Liaison Officer based in Norfolk,