A decision by the UK government on plans to build a 30-51MW extension to the existing 90MW Kentish Flats offshore wind farm is expected late this year or early in 2013. Developer Vattenfall told Windpower Offshore that it hopes to begin construction in 2014, if approval is granted.
Vattenfall’s plans are subject to examination by the UK Planning Inspectorate. The Swedish energy company has proposed installing a further 10-17 Vestas V112-3MW turbines.
The Planning Inspectorate’s examination period ends this month, with the inspector in question allowed three months to give a recommendation to central government on whether to approve or reject the proposal. The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change has a further three months to decide, although its decision may be made more quickly.
Vattenfall appears poised to proceed with remaining tier 1 contractor decisions, if it receives an indication that the Kentish Flats Extension is likely to be approved. Pre-qualification processes for the supply and installation of foundations and electrical infrastructure has been completed, with Vattenfall hoping to finalise agreements with preferred bidders in December.
* Meanwhile, Windpower Offshore understands that an extension to the consultation period for onshore infrastructure, planned for the Round 3 7.2GW East Anglia zone, is not expected to result in delay to the submission of a development consent order. Submission continues to be scheduled for November. The length of the ongoing consultation was extended by a month, following discovery of a clerical error that risked invalidating the consultation. Vattenfall and ScottishPowerPower Renewables are developing the East Anglia zone jointly.