The UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma has granted planning consent to Orsted’s 2400MW Hornsea Three project in the North Sea.
UK planners have given Orsted permission to install a maximum of 231 turbines featuring rotors up to 265 metres in diameter and tip heights of 325 metres off the coast of Yorkshire.
The final decision comes some 26 months after Orsted submitted its final plans for the project for approval, which was initially expected to be granted in 2019.
A consent ruling has been delayed owing to concerns raised during consultations about possible impacts form the project on kittiwakes breeding at protected sites on the Yorkshire coast and potential harm to seabed protected by conservation legislation.
Compensation measures include the construction of mussel beds, recovery of ghost fishing gear from the sea and a specially designed ‘kittiwake compensation strategy’ that will create nest boxes for seabirds.
[Orsted head of region UK Duncan Clark] said the developer has “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” plan 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”.