A consent application for a substantial extension to Walney offshore wind farm will be submitted by Dong Energy in May. The developer's proposal to the UK Planning Inspectorate is expected to feature a capacity range of 572-768MW, to be powered by 109-209 turbines.
If approved, the Walney Extension would be built to the west and north west of the existing Walney 1 and 2 offshore wind farms, off England's north west coast. The existing first two phases have a combined capacity of 367MW. They are owned by Dong (50.1%), SSE (25.1%) and a consortium featuring PGGM and Dutch Ampère equity fund (24.8%). The consortium re-financed its stake last year.
Dong's plans for further expansion at Walney looks set to ensure that the wind farm's three phases will together boast a minimum capacity of 939MW and, possibly, as much as just over 1.2GW.
If 6MW turbines were to be chosen for the project, about 95 units would be needed to reach 572MW. However, if Dong is given approval to build 768MW in new capacity, it would need 128 6MW machines.
During public consultation last autumn, less than half – 43% - of the 367 members of the public that participated said they supported the Walney Extension project. A further 29% said they opposed the plan. The most significant issues of concern for the public were potential impacts on other sea users (30%) and potential environmental impacts (25%).