Massive Lancashire offshore windfarm projects out for consultation

Morecambe windfarm (source: Flotation Energy)

Work could begin within a year on three enormous offshore windfarm projects off the Lancashire coast that will feed power into the national grid substation at Penwortham, near Preston.

Statutory consultation notices have been filed for two projects under the names Morecambe Offshore Windfarm Generation Assets (“Morecambe”) and Morgan Offshore Wind Project Generations Assets (“Morgan”). These projects are two new offshore wind farms being developed in the Irish Sea, 30 km off the Lancashire coastline.

The projects were won in a government tender and are led by energy giants BP, RWE and Total. 

A 480MW Morecambe fixed foundation project in the Irish Sea was secured by Flotation Energy in February 2021 in a UK offshore leasing Round 4 with Spanish joint venture partner Cobra (part of the ACS Group). 

When complete, Morgan and Mona windfarms will have a combined potential generating capacity of 3GW, sufficient to power the equivalent of approximately 3.4 million UK households. 

These leases will play an important role in delivering UK Government’s aim of 40GW of offshore wind by 2030.

The government is fast tracking the approval process for new turbine farms, reducing the time from four years to one, meaning work could start in early 2024.

Research from Oxford Economics claims the projects will support 1,745 jobs, with 350 across planning and design, worth around £8.75 million per year, 1000 jobs during construction, worth around £37.4 million each year and 295 jobs during operations, worth around £13.8 million each year.

People have until June 4 to comment on the proposals, which are also on public display at Penwortham Town Hall and Community Centre and Preston Town Hall. 

The Morecambe and Morgan projects are working cooperatively to deliver a single common onshore connection point and are therefore collaborating on the design and delivery of the transmission assets for both projects.

A non-statutory consultation is also now open for Morgan and Morecambe Offshore Wind Farms: Transmission Assets (“Transmission”). This refers to the offshore and onshore assets that will be used to transport electricity from the Morgan and Morecambe Offshore Wind Farms to the National Grid substation at Penwortham.

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