Equinor is preparing to begin its public consultations with local communities this summer on its proposed wind farm extension projects, which are planned to be built adjacent to its existing offshore wind farms off the North Norfolk coast – and with a new cable trench proposed to be dug to the east of Cawston.
The Norwegian energy company operates the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon offshore wind farms, which employ more than 100 people in the region and provide renewable electricity for 750,000 UK homes. The two proposed extensions projects would increase capacity to provide electricity for more than 1.5 million homes across the country.
Both wind farms are classed as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, so Equinor has to apply for a development consent order from the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, which it intends to submit by the end of 2021.
As part of the planning application process, the company will publish a statement of community consultation (SoCC) this summer. This document will set out how it will engage with the local community to ensure comments and feedback on the plans can be provided as they develop.
Equinor says it is also working with local councils to ensure the draft proposal takes their considerations into account.
The SoCC will detail the timeline for consultations, and how and where people can find information and contact the company.
However, in light of the current restrictions on public gatherings owing to the COVID-19 government guidance, the company says it is taking extra care to ensure that all interested parties will have access to all the information.
The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm is owned by Equinor, Masdar and China Resources, while the shareholders in the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm are Equinor, Equitix and Green Investment Group.
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