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Development consent granted for Equinor’s Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon Extension Projects in the UK

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Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm
Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm
Ole Jørgen Bratland

The UK Secretary of State for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, has granted development consent to the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon Extension Projects off the North Norfolk coast. The projects are extensions to the operational Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farms, which currently power around 710,000 UK homes.

The consent enables the Extension Projects to double the capacity of the existing wind farms, providing renewable energy to power an additional 785,000 UK homes. With these extensions, Equinor’s wind farms in Norfolk will power nearly 1.5 million households and make a significant contribution to the UK’s decarbonisation goals.

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).

This marks the first time in the UK that two offshore wind projects under separate ownership have been awarded consent under a shared application which provides the opportunity to combine development of the two projects. Through a coordinated approach and extensive consultations with local community members, Equinor has sought to develop the Extension Projects to maximise local benefits and minimise disruption.

This includes an option in the consent application to utilise an integrated transmission system, as well as separate grid connections for each project, within the same overall onshore footprint. The development has been selected as a Pathfinder project for coordinated offshore transmission development under the UK Government’s Offshore Transmission Network Review.

During the construction phase, the Extension Projects are anticipated to support more than 1800 full time jobs per year across the UK and within East Anglia, generating over £370 million in direct gross value added (GVA) to the East Anglia and UK economy. The projects are also planned to leverage the existing operations and maintenance base at Great Yarmouth, which will continue to serve the operational Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon wind farms, as well as the new turbines once developed.

Commenting on the Secretary of State’s decision, Halfdan Brustad, Equinor’s VP, UK Renewables, said:

“We are delighted with the Secretary of State’s decision to award consent, doubling the capacity of the existing projects, and clearing the way forward to significantly contribute to the UK’s offshore wind and Net Zero targets by 2030. This is huge milestone for the joint venture partners in both Dudgeon and Sheringham Shoal extension projects. The Extension Projects have been developed carefully over the last five years, with innovative approaches to transmission planning and consenting, underpinned by close engagement with the local community. The extensions build on our longstanding presence in Norfolk and we look forward to contributing even more positively to the local region and the UK’s offshore wind growth.”

Equinor will now review the consent granted in full detail and determine if and when the projects can be taken forward for Final Investment Decision (FID).