SSE Renewables has cautioned that a shortage of vessels, challenging weather conditions and supply chain issues mean that the first phase of the Dogger Bank offshore wind project – Dogger Bank A – may not be completed until 2025.
In a trading statement published today (8 February), SSE said that: “Following notification of further vessel unavailability over the coming weeks there is an increasing possibility that full operations will not be achieved until 2025.” However, SSE remains optimistic about the financial potential of the project, with the statement adding that the delay “is not expected to materially change project returns”.
“The business is working closely with its supply chain partners to improve current turbine installation rates, with a further update on progress to be provided in May with publication of FY24 results,” the statement continued.
The Dogger Bank project is a joint venture between three major energy companies; SSE Renewables and Norwegian company Equinor each own 40%, with the remaining 20% held by Vårgrønn, also based in Norway.
The first 1.2GW phase of the Dogger Bank wind project has already been plagued by delays. The site first produced power in October of last year, several months after it was expected to. The remaining two B and C phases of Dogger Bank, which is located off the coast of East Yorkshire, England, are expected to enter commercial operations in 2025 and 2026. Once all three phases have been completed, the full wind farm is expected to generate 3.6GW of power, making it the largest in the world.
The UK offshore wind sector has been facing major problems in recent months. Ørsted, the Danish company behind the Hornsea 3 wind farm off the Norfolk coast, recently announced job cuts and scaled-back production targets, while research from the think tank Policy Exchange has revealed that insufficient transmission capacity for wind power is costing the UK £1bn each year due to system constraints.
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