Equinor ASA (NYSE:EQNR) announced on Thursday that the planned extensions to its existing Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon offshore wind farms in UK waters have earned the status of “Pathfinder” projects.
The UK Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change Minister, Greg Hands, has confirmed today the selection of the two projects under the Offshore Transmission Network Review (OTNR). The Pathfinder label is given to projects that are expected to potentially deliver early benefits on better coordinated offshore transmission systems.
“The concept of ‘Pathfinder’ projects was created for such projects that are leading the way in utilising the enabling regulatory and policy changes being developed by project partners to meet the OTNR objectives. Having reviewed Equinor’s [Sheringham Shoal] and [Dudgeon] proposal, I am encouraged by the degree of coordination being pursued and look forward to applying the learnings from delivering this project to the wider OTNR,” the energy minister stated.
Equinor is the operator of the 317-MW Sheringham Shoal and 402-MW Dudgeon wind farms off the coast of Norfolk, which are made up of 155 turbines in total. In 2020, the Norwegian energy major won leases from the Crown Estate to double the capacity of the two wind parks.
With their Pathfinder labels secured, the extension projects will continue to engage with the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) and its other OTNR partners to address regulatory and policy challenges, whilst progressing with project development, Equinor said in a statement.