Sea Logistics

Happy New Year for Orsted as Hornsea Three gets planning consent after 15 month


A last act of 2020 from government has seen Orsted’s biggest wind farm yet gain planning consent.

Hornsea Three has been given the go ahead by Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma.

It has been the hardest yet to achieve, with strong objections from environmental bodies over the impact the construction and operation could have on protected areas and bird species.

As part of the process, the company will create artificial nesting towers onshore to boost the kittiwake population.

Mr Sharma, the third in office to have it in his in tray, had announced he was ‘minded for approval’ in July. It is now confirmed, having initially been anticipated in September 2019.

The multi-billion pound 231-turbine 2.4GW development is double the size of the reigning world leader, Hornsea One, and while it forms part of the cluster off the Humber approaches, served from Grimsby, power will hit land at Norfolk, connecting to the grid near Norwich.

Hornsea Project Three location map.
Hornsea Project Three location map.
(Image: Orsted)

Cable laying will involve cutting through a protected Natura 2000 site and it led to special assessments of North Norfolk Sandbanks and Saturn Reef Special Area of Conservation, The Wash and North Norfolk Coast Special Area of Conservation, with Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds and Markham’s Triangle Marine Conservation Zone all flagged up.

Hornsea Three is a key part in the Danish energy giant’s plans to create 400 jobs in the Humber region, with a £14 million East Coast Hub set up to serve the North Sea interests. It is also a vital building block in the acceleration of offshore wind deployment, with installation targets raised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Expressing his delight, Duncan Clark, head of UK region at Orsted, said: “This determination is the culmination of a thorough and rigorous process which ensures that the project can deliver much needed clean energy at scale for the UK, whilst ensuring the potential environmental impacts of the project are minimised.

“We’ve worked closely with key stakeholders to develop a robust compensation plan focused on the implementation of onshore artificial nesting structures specifically designed for kittiwake. The unique compensation plan for Hornsea Three demonstrates that the industry can continue to deliver on the Government’s offshore wind ambition of 40GW by 2030 in a sensitive and environmentally responsible way and we would like to thank Shoney Wind for providing specialist knowledge on kittiwake artificial nesting towers.

“We’d like to thank everyone involved in the project to date and for the productive discussions, feedback and comments that have helped shape and refine our proposals.

“Climate change remains a very serious threat to our environment and habitats and there is an ever pressing need to act. Once complete, Hornsea Three could provide clean power to over two million UK homes and offset over 128.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. It will make a significant contribution towards meeting the UK’s net zero commitments and in the crucial fight against climate change.

Duncan Clark, head of UK region for Orsted.
Duncan Clark, head of UK region for Orsted.

“We will now be reviewing the full Development Consent Order and will continue to work closely with stakeholders and local communities as we take the project forward.”

It will be the company’s fifth farm in the zone, and should also mean a huge order for Siemens Gamesa, with blades built in Hull. While decisions have yet to be made, all other turbines in the cluster are scaled up models, making it easier for the large operations and maintenance cohort in the port town.

Hornsea One, following Westermost Rough and Race Bank, was fully commissioned early last year, with Hornsea Two now in early construction.

It is being co-ordinated from a new base at Humberside Airport, while in Immingham a new era of safety preparation and training has been ushered in. Both will…



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