Sofia Offshore Wind Farm, the largest project in innogy’s development portfolio, has been granted approval to increase its maximum installed capacity by 200 megawatts (MW) from 1200MW to 1400MW.
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has now approved amendments to the deemed marine licences, which correspond to changes to the development consent order decided by the Rt Hon Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in late March.
The capacity increase means the amount of renewable electricity generated by Sofia once operational could be boosted by around 15 percent. This additional boost represents the annual electricity requirements of approximately 150,000 average UK homes, which means the total amount of power Sofia could generate would be enough to potentially provide almost 1.2 million average UK homes with their electricity needs each year.
As well as the increase in overall installed capacity, the approvals grant innogy the permission to use larger turbines with a maximum rotor diameter of 288 metres, up from the 215 metres that was in the original consent.
Sofia Project Director David Few said that the increase was requested by innogy in applications submitted to the Planning Inspectorate and the MMO in June 2018.
“We applied to change the project’s development consent order and marine licences to ensure that Sofia would be able to employ the latest generation of larger, more efficient and technologically advanced wind turbines.
“The approval decisions are clearly excellent news and now mean that Sofia will be able to make an even bigger contribution towards achieving the UK’s carbon emission reduction targets”.
The wind farm site covers an area of almost 600 square kilometres and is located 165 kilometres off the UK’s North East coast on Dogger Bank in the North Sea. Electricity generated by Sofia will feed into the national grid at an existing substation located in Lackenby, Teesside.
The project was granted its development consent order in August 2015 and is due to take part in the Government’s next Contracts for Difference allocation round, expected in May this year.