Located more than 47km from the Norfolk coast and with an installed capacity of 3.6GW, Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas will provide the equivalent electricity needs of almost 4 million UK homes per year, while saving 6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
The project will help to cement and maintain Norfolk as a UK renewable energy powerhouse and put the region at the heart of our national transition to a low-carbon economy, while supporting hundreds of local jobs and continuing to sponsor local and regional skills initiatives.
Womble Bond Dickinson was appointed to:
- Secure separate Development Consent Orders for Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas
- Offer strategic consenting support
- Advise on the pre-application process, review the application and advise on the Examination process – both written submissions and appearance at hearings
- Advise on the judicial review process for Norfolk Vanguard
- Provide real estate advice regarding all onshore cable rights and substation agreements, and support in respect of offshore real estate requirements
- Initial Contract for Difference application advice.
This is an ambitious project to develop two major R3 offshore wind farms with associated onshore infrastructure, including a long onshore cable route, two onshore convertor stations and an extension to the existing National Grid substation. Womble Bond Dickinson was appointed to work on the projects on the basis of its prior work on the East Anglia joint venture between ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall.
Capable of 3.6GW of power delivery, this is due to be one of the world’s largest wind farms. However, the sheer scale of the project has brought complications to match.
The intention of the DCO process is to provide timeline certainty for all parties, but consenting of both projects has been the subject of a number of delays. Consent was granted by the Secretary of State for Norfolk Vanguard in 2020 but this decision was quashed following a judicial review. Norfolk Vanguard is currently the subject of re-determination and a decision is also awaited on Norfolk Boreas.
It’s a potentially stunning project but has fallen victim to the kinds of delays that are holding back the UK’s offshore wind progression and its contribution to the delivery of net zero.
Also of note is that projects are judged according to their cumulative impact - they are not considered to be ‘standalone’. This has implications not only for the onshore infrastructure but also offshore impacts on designated European sites.
Secondly, the level of onshore opposition is noteworthy, and emphasises that offshore wind projects must do everything they can to reduce their impact on onshore communities.
Key facts and figures
homes per year
tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions saved