The granting on 5 August of planning consent for Forewind’s Teesside A&B offshore wind project at the Dogger Bank zone takes the total of consented projects in the North Sea zone to 4.8 GW, almost equal to all the offshore wind capacity now in operation in the rest of the UK.

The Dogger Bank Zone is the largest of the UK’s Round 3 zones and the farthest from shore, but also one of the shallowest, with high wind speeds and seabed conditions ideally suited to offshore wind development.

The consent is offshore wind consortium Forewind’s second approval following that of Dogger Bank Creyke Beck in February. Both consented developments have a proposed installed capacity of 2.4 GW making them the two largest renewable energy applications ever to be approved in the UK, and together the world’s biggest planned offshore wind scheme.

The consent allows for two separate 1.2 GW projects, each with up to 200 turbines installed across an area of around 600 sq km and located 165 km from the UK coast at the closest point.

The Teesside A&B consent is the result of more than four years of comprehensive assessments, community and stakeholder consultation, and planning by the consortium, owned equally by the four energy companies – RWE, SSE, Statkraft and Statoil. This work included the most extensive study of an offshore area ever undertaken by a wind energy developer, with more than £60 million spent on surveys.

Power from the wind farm will come to shore near Redcar in Teesside and the nine km onshore cable will connect into the national grid at the existing Lackenby substation, adjacent to the Wilton International industrial complex.

When constructed, Dogger Bank Teesside A&B will be one of UK’s largest power generators, second only to the 3.9 GW Drax coal-fired station in North Yorkshire, and will be capable of generating 8 TWh pr year.

As part of the consent process a final six-week legal challenge period will now be undertaken.