UK Government delays Hornsea Three and Norfolk Vanguard decision

4C Offshore

The UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has delayed its decision on the
Norfolk Vanguard and Hornsea Three offshore wind farms, proposed to be built off the east coast of the UK.

Originally expected today, a decision for the applications has been extended to 1 July 2020. A statement confirming the new deadline for a decision will be made to the House of Commons and House of Lords in accordance with section 107(7) of the Planning Act 2008 as soon as possible.

Hornsea Three wind farm is being developed by Danish offshore wind energy giant Ørsted, and is to be located in the North Sea off the coast of North Norfolk. The project is currently poised to have a maximum capacity of 2.4GW and, if approved, it will be the world's largest offshore wind farm, featuring up to 300 wind turbines. It is expected to power approximately 2 million UK homes.

Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm is being developed by Swedish energy company Vattenfall. The 1.8 GW capacity project is to be located more than 47km from the Norfolk Coast. This is the second time BEIS has delayed its decision for the Norfolk Vanguard project.  Vattenfall originally submitted an application for consent in June 2018.

Commenting on the delay to the decision on planning consent for the Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm, Danielle Lane, UK Country Manager for Vattenfall, said: "Norfolk Vanguard is one of the most innovative and ambitious offshore wind projects in the world. Yet this is now the second time it has suffered a delay, despite addressing all of the major concerns raised during the planning process. Coming so soon after the decision on Norfolk Boreas was pushed back until October, the offshore wind industry will be left wondering about the Government's intentions for this sector.

"We’re in a race against time to reduce emissions and need to respond to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, yet crucial infrastructure decisions are being put on hold.

“While we appreciate the added difficulties posed by the current lockdown, some of the largest engineering projects ever built - capable of providing clean energy security and a vital economic boost to the UK - remain in limbo. For every day that goes by without a decision, there are consequences for the next phase of the project, so it's vital that there are no further delays."

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Hugh McNeal said: "Any delay in the decision-making process is disappointing. We want to work with Government to achieve their ambition of 40GW of offshore wind by 2030 and the UK’s wider net zero target.

“Major projects like these are vital to generate clean power on the scale we need to decarbonise our economy. We need the Government to take decisions in a timely manner so that offshore wind can play a leading role in getting our economy back on track after the Coronavirus crisis”.