Energy companies Equinor and SSE Renewables are carrying out early scoping work to explore options for developing a fourth phase, Dogger Bank D, of the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
Equinor and SSE Renewables each own 50% of the proposed Dogger Bank D development.
The Dogger Bank D proposal would require a new development consent order to progress into construction and could add an additional 1.32 GW in fixed-bottom offshore wind capacity to the 3.6 GW already in construction with phases A, B and C of the project.
Dogger Bank D would be located in the eastern zone of the Dogger Bank C lease area, more than doubling the utilisation of existing acreage. The project’s progression remains subject to agreement with The Crown Estate.
The developers will release an initial scoping report in late March outlining ongoing work to explore the technical feasibility of deploying latest-available technology to bolster the UK’s renewable energy capacity. There are two options being explored for the energy generated by the offshore windfarm: a grid connection and/or green hydrogen production.
The first would see power from Dogger Bank D connecting to a grid connection in Lincolnshire, where National Grid is installing new network infrastructure in response to the UK Government’s ambitions to generate 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030.
The second option being considered by the developers is the use of electricity produced by offshore wind to generate green hydrogen at a dedicated electrolysis facility in the Humber region. The facility, if developed, could become the UK’s largest green hydrogen project and, subject to supportive Government policy and supply chain alignment, could contribute to the UK Government’s green hydrogen ambitions.
VP Dogger Bank at Equinor, Halfdan Brustad, says, “Optimising the Dogger Bank C lease area with an additional phase, Dogger Bank D, is in-line with Equinor’s strategy to further develop offshore wind projects in clusters such as the North Sea. We are pleased to continue our collaboration with our partners, SSE Renewables, and work together to mature the technical scoping of this project. Both the grid offtake and green hydrogen production options from Dogger Bank D would contribute to the UK’s net zero ambitions and emphasise Equinor’s ability to deliver a broad energy offering to the UK.”
Paul Cooley, Director of Offshore Wind, SSE Renewables, says, “At SSE Renewables we’re focussed on delivering and building a homegrown energy system for the UK that is cheaper, cleaner and more secure. That’s why we’re taking action to develop more of the new offshore wind energy needed to radically increase renewable generation. We’re already building the world’s largest offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank, and now with our established partners Equinor we’re delighted to unveil plans to develop a potential fourth phase of the project, Dogger Bank D. We’re looking forward to working together to bring this project to the attention of key stakeholders.”
Dogger Bank Wind Farm Project Director, Oliver Cass, says, “We’re in the early stages of looking at the technical feasibility of the grid and also hydrogen options for a potential fourth phase of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, and we’re looking forward to working with local, national and regional stakeholders over the coming months as we progress the project.”
“Not only is this project a great opportunity to generate more affordable green energy for UK consumers and increase the resilience of our energy networks, it would also build on the economic and social legacy started by the first phases of the project which have created and supported thousands of UK jobs and resulted in more than GBP 1 million being invested in coastal communities,” Cass continues.
The first three phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm known as A, B and C are located more than 130 km off the Yorkshire coast and will generate enough renewable energy to power six million UK homes. A joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor and Vårgrønn*, SSE Renewables is leading on Dogger Bank construction and delivery while Equinor will operate the wind farm on completion.
Equinor and SSE Thermal are currently collaborating to accelerate the decarbonisation of the Humber, the UK’s largest and most carbon-intensive industrial region, through low-carbon projects such as Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station, Keadby Hydrogen Power Station and Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage.
As part of the Zero Carbon Humber initiative, in which Equinor and SSE Thermal are both members, hydrogen transmission and storage infrastructure are planned in the Humber linked to the East Coast Cluster CO2 transmission and storage system. The green hydrogen option at Dogger Bank D could benefit from leveraging the low-carbon hydrogen value chain being advanced, including the hydrogen pipeline infrastructure and network of potential customers.
* Vårgrønn is a joint venture between the Italian energy company Plenitude and the Norwegian energy entrepreneur and investor HitecVision.