Offshore wind: a sustainable future

Who is involved?

The Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme is being led by The Crown Estate, together with its Programme partners, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

It is being delivered in collaboration with organisations with an interest in planning for the future of offshore wind and the underpinning evidence requirements. We have established the Programme Steering Group to provide oversight and direction to this Programme and help us achieve the outcomes that will underpin the successful delivery of the Programme.

The organisations that are members of the programme steering group are:

  • Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
  • Crown Estate Scotland
  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - Programme Partner
  • Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Programme Partner
  • Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Northern Ireland
  • Historic England
  • Maritime and Coastguard Agency
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee
  • Marine Management Organisation
  • National Grid Electricity System Operator
  • National Grid Transmission Owner
  • Natural England
  • Natural Resources Wales
  • NatureScot
  • Offshore Wind Industry Council / Pathways to Growth
  • Office of Gas and Electricity Markets
  • The Planning Inspectorate
  • RenewableUK
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • Scottish Government (Marine Scotland)
  • Seabed User and Developer Group
  • The Crown Estate - Programme Lead
  • The Wildlife Trusts
  • Trinity House
  • Welsh Government

Programme scope

The Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme is being delivered via a mix of studies, research projects and evidence-gathering to help better understand and overcome the cumulative environmental impacts of offshore wind, and its effects on users of the sea and onshore communities.

Project updates

Pathfinder project: East Coast Grid Spatial study

The project is being led by The Crown Estate, in partnership with National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), National Grid Electricity Transmission and the Marine Management Organisation. AECOM has been appointed to provide consultancy services to deliver the project.

The seabed around the east coast of England has extraordinary potential for offshore wind development. To ensure the sustainable development of offshore wind in the region, it is important we have greater evidence and a deeper understanding of the local environment and community impacts of connecting windfarms to the grid. This will be significant in informing future policy choices on provision of offshore transmission infrastructure.

This project aims to better understand the constraints that offshore wind farms on the east coast of England are likely to face when connecting into the electricity network and whether alternative approaches to connection can reduce community and environmental impacts.  It will assess whether adopting a more coordinated approach to offshore transmission in the region could mitigate the potential risks of these constraints to offshore wind development, compared to the current approach of point-to-point radial links.

Constraints both at sea and on land will be considered, including cable route challenges around designated areas and existing infrastructure, limitations on suitable cable landfall locations and the proximity of these landfall locations to the existing onshore transmission system.

The project is targeting completion in early-2021, and the results of the analysis will be used to inform the current reviews around the delivery of offshore transmission infrastructure being carried out by BEISOfgem and National Grid ESO. Outputs will be shared with key stakeholders, including the Programme Steering Group, before being published on this page.  This is a pilot study and it is intended that the methodology developed will be transferrable to other regions, subject to need.

Programme updates

Programme Steering Group Meeting - January 2021 
The Steering Group Meeting was held on Tuesday 12th January 2021. 

 

 

Programme launch – December 2020

The Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme was officially launched in December 2020. Please see the press release here.

Programme Steering Group meeting – September 2020

In September 2020, The Crown Estate and its Programme partners, BEIS and Defra, convened their first meeting of the Steering Group for the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme. Some 24 organisations were invited to formally sign a Terms of Reference to signal their commitment. Membership has been selected to reflect a balance of organisations from the devolved governments, planning and environmental regulatory bodies and their statutory advisors, representatives from the offshore wind industry and environmental non-governmental organisations. The proposed aims, objectives, structure and delivery plan for the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme – developed based on feedback and engagement - were presented to prospective members as a basis for future collaboration. In the subsequent months we formalised membership and officially launched the 5-year Programme. The roll out of pathfinder projects continues.

Programme Steering Group check-in – July 2020

In July 2020, The Crown Estate and its Programme partners, BEIS and Defra, held a check-in meeting with senior representatives from some 25 organisations who have been invited to become members of the Programme steering group. This was an opportunity for us to share a progress update and to take soundings from prospective members.

Stakeholder workshop – December 2019

In December 2019, we welcomed representatives from a diverse range of offshore interests to a collaborative workshop.

The workshop focused on defining outcomes and priorities, and scoping actions that will help us shape the structure and delivery plan for the Programme.

You can find summaries of key themes, issues and outcomes of the workshop on the side pane.

The full write up is available.  

Contact

Mandy King

Programme Manager

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