Leading energy companies Equinor and SSE Renewables are conducting preliminary scoping work to investigate alternatives for developing the largest offshore wind farm’s fourth phase, Dogger Bank D.
Each owns 50% of the proposed Dogger Bank D development.
The Dogger Bank D proposal would need a new development permission order to move forward with construction and could increase the 3.6 GW of fixed-bottom offshore wind capacity presently being built with phases A, B, and C of the project by an additional 1.32 GW.
Dogger Bank D would more than double the amount of land already being used by being situated in the eastern part of the Dogger Bank C lease area. Progress on the project is still contingent on approval with The Crown Estate.
In late March, the developers will publish an early scoping report outlining current efforts to investigate the technical viability of implementing the most recent technologies to increase the UK’s renewable energy potential. The grid connection and/or the creation of green hydrogen are the two alternatives being investigated for the energy produced by the offshore wind farm.
The first would involve the transmission of electricity from Dogger Bank D to a grid connection in Lincolnshire, where National Grid is constructing new network infrastructure in response to the UK Government’s plans to produce 50 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030.
The second alternative that the developers are considering is the utilisation of offshore wind energy to manufacture green hydrogen at a specialised electrolysis facility in the Humber region. If built, the plant would be the largest green hydrogen project in the UK and, pending favourable government policy and supply chain alignment, might help the UK government achieve its green hydrogen goals.
VP Dogger Bank at Equinor, Halfdan Brustad, said “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, said “At SSE Renewables we’re focussed on delivering and building a homegrown energy system for the UK that is cheaper, cleaner and more secure.”
Dogger Bank Wind Farm Project Director, Oliver Cass, said “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 £1 million being invested in coastal communities.”
More than 130 km off the coast of Yorkshire, the Dogger Bank Wind Farm’s first three phases, known as A, B, and C, will produce enough renewable energy to power six million UK homes. A joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor, and Vårgrønn, Dogger Bank is being built and delivered by SSE Renewables, with Equinor taking over after that.
Through low-carbon projects including Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station, Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, and Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage, Equinor and SSE Thermal are now working together to hasten the decarbonization of the Humber, the UK’s largest and most carbon-intensive industrial region.
Hydrogen transmission and storage infrastructure in the Humber is being planned as part of the Zero Carbon Humber effort, which includes members Equinor and SSE Thermal, and is connected to the East Coast Cluster CO2 transmission and storage system. The low-carbon hydrogen value chain, which includes the hydrogen pipeline infrastructure and customer network, might be used to benefit the green hydrogen option at Dogger Bank D.
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