DCO application rejected for Thanet Extension offshore wind project
The UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has refused Vattenfall’s development consent order (DCO) application for the Thanet Extension offshore wind project.
The conclusion behind the decision is that Vattenfall failed to demonstrate sufficient mitigation of risks to safety of navigation to make them As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP).
According to the Secretary of State, the impact of the proposed project on marine navigation, shipping and ports was the principal issue generating most attention and contention from interested and other parties throughout the examination.
The concerns include the effect of the project on navigational safety of shipping traffic in immediately adjacent waters, the resilience of facilities and services accessed by that traffic, and in this context, the degree to which the proposed development was policy compliant.
Additionally, among a number of other reasons for refusing the application, at the end of the examination, a lease had not been agreed to secure the property rights required to allow offshore construction.
The Secretary of State notes that there were various other issues considered during the examination but does not consider it necessary to give these matters further consideration in the context of this decision.
The proposed project would extend the 300 MW Thanet offshore wind farm with 34 turbines located 8km offshore Kent.
This would potentially double the output of the existing 100-turbine wind farm with more powerful machines.
The Secretary of State recently postponed the statutory deadline for the decision on planning consent for Vattenfall’s 1.8 GW Norfolk Vanguard and Ørsted’s 2.4 GW Hornsea Three offshore wind projects.