World’s second largest offshore wind farm set for North Sea

At the end of 2021, the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, Hornsea Two off the coast of Yorkshire, generated power for the first time, a title it had taken from Hornsea One.

12 months prior to this seismic event, Hornsea Three had received a Development Consent Order and an application had been put in for Hornsea Four – which would be the world’s second biggest offshore wind farm.

It is only this week however that the application has been granted development consent by the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Grant Shapps.

Operators Ørsted announced: ‘This decision marks the culmination of a rigorous process which ensures that the project can deliver a significant source of clean energy for the UK.

‘Hornsea 4 is the first ever offshore wind farm to be examined alongside a derogation case including environmental compensation.’

The Examining Authority looked at a number of matters relating to the possible impact of the development, beginning by asking if there was an actual need for it and if so, should it be here?

Environmental and ecological issues considered were costal processes, marine and coastal ornithology and marine ecology. The Authority’s recommendations were made to the Secretary of State on 22 November 2022.

Hornsea Four will have a 2.6GW capacity in comparison with Hornsea Three’s 2.8GW, Hornsea One’s 1.2GW and Two’s 1.3GW.  It will include 180 wind turbines, capable of powering one million homes. 

The Planning Inspectorate’s Chief Executive, Paul Morrison said: ‘Local communities continue to be given the opportunity of being involved in the examination of projects that may affect them. Local people, the local authority and other Interested Parties were able to participate in this six-month Examination.

‘The Examining Authority listened and gave full consideration to all local views and the evidence gathered during the Examination before making its recommendation to the Secretary of State.’

RenewableUK’s executive director of policy Ana Musat said: “It’s great to see one of the UK’s largest offshore wind farms getting the green light from the Government, at a time when we urgently need to get cracking on building new clean energy projects to generate the cheapest power for billpayers and enable us to bolster domestic supply chains.


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