Morecambe Offshore Windfarm
Renewable energy is central to supporting the UK’s ambitions to lead the world in combatting climate change, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and embracing a future where renewable energy powers our homes and businesses.
Morecambe Offshore Windfarm has a nominal capacity of 480MW. That’s enough to power over half a million households. It will also contribute to the UK Government’s commitment to:
generate 50GW of power from offshore wind by 2030
reach net zero by 2050.
It is located approximately 30km from the Lancashire coast.
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fixed bottom turbines
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Morecambe Offshore Windfarm Ltd is a joint venture between Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios, S.A. (Cobra) and Flotation Energy Ltd.
Cobra is a worldwide leader with more than 75 years of experience in the development, construction and management of industrial infrastructure and energy projects. Cobra has an international presence in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. In recent years the company has focused on renewable energy projects, including onshore & offshore wind and solar power including a specialised floating windfarm business. Cobra has a business culture that is focused on quality and excellence stemming from its greatest asset; it’s employees.
Flotation Energy has a growing project pipeline of offshore wind projects with more than 13 GW in the UK, Ireland, Taiwan, Japan and Australia; and plans to expand into many more key markets.
The expertise of the Flotation Energy team lies in the project and engineering management of large infrastructure projects.
Flotation Energy have developed their own projects but also recognise the benefits of collaboration and working in partnership with other developers to deliver proven, cost-effective solutions.
We actively engage with our local communities, local businesses, elected members, regulators and other key stakeholders to receive feedback and help shape our plans.
We’re carrying out lots of our own technical and environmental assessments; but people living near to the proposals have local knowledge which adds real value. These could include thoughts on:
- Potential environmental or community considerations
- Community benefits
- Information that could help us plan for construction
- How we can help support jobs.
We work with local media and identify multiple channels to help promote our projects and engage with as wide an audience as possible, in the planning and delivery of our programme.
- Habitats Regulations Assessment commenced by The Crown Estate
- Non-statutory engagement begins (introductory meetings and website launch)
- Expected signing of Agreement for Lease with The Crown Estate
- Grid Connection confirmed by National Grid
- Onsite environmental studies and project planning
- Non-statutory engagement to inform the Development Consent Order
- Scoping report published for generation and transmission assets
- Scoping opinion received from the Planning Inspectorate for generation and transmission assets
- Non-statutory consultation with Government, regulators, communities and interested parties (website, working groups, meetings, forums, exhibitions)
- Publish Preliminary Environmental Information Report
- Publication of Statement of Community Consultation
- Statutory Consultation
- Application for Development Consent Order
- Expected Final Investment Decision
- The Crown Estate Lease
- Expected DCO award
- Earliest anticipated commencement of construction
- Commercial Operation Date
Delivering Net Zero
Climate change is one the biggest challenges the world faces. It is affecting every country and we must all play a role in helping to combat it.
In the UK, the government has committed to ambitious plans that will put the country at the forefront of the fight for a greener future. As part of these plans, we will need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. To achieve this, we will need to change how we heat our homes, power our vehicles and, importantly, how we generate our electricity.
The UK already generates around 13GW of its power from offshore wind, which is more than any other country in the world. It plays an increasingly important role in our energy mix – for a period on 29 Jan 2022, offshore wind was providing 66 per cent of our total energy output. But we need to go a lot further. To achieve our climate goals, we need to quadruple our offshore wind generation – that means having 50GW of generating capacity installed and operating by 2030.
The Morecambe project has the potential to contribute to the Net Zero targets and to play a role in decarbonisation of the UK economy. Our 480 MW project will be operational by 2028/9 – leading the way in decarbonisation of the UK economy.
Planning and consent
In July 2022, the UK Government published the Pathway to 2030 Holistic Network Design documents, which set out the approach to connecting 50GW of offshore wind to the UK electricity network. The output of this process concluded that the Morecambe Offshore Windfarm and the Morgan Offshore Wind Project should work collaboratively in connecting the wind farms to the national grid at Penwortham in Lancashire. The developers were involved in this process and agree with this output.
The Government classifies major energy projects as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs). Permission is granted in line with the national policy guidance set out in the Planning Act 2008.
The generation assets for the Morecambe Offshore Windfarm and the generation assets for the Morgan Offshore Wind Project are each considered to be NSIPs in their own right and will be the subject of separate applications for development consent.
An application for development consent will therefore be made for the generation assets of each offshore wind farm, one for Morecambe and one for Morgan. A third application for development consent will be made for both projects’ joint transmission assets.
Applications for development consent are submitted to, and examined by, the Planning Inspectorate and decisions are made by the relevant Secretary of State, in this case the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Morecambe Offshore Windfarm Ltd and Morgan Offshore Wind Ltd will each be making applications directly to the Planning Inspectorate.
A range of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) will be undertaken to assess the potential impacts to, and as a result of, the construction, operation and maintenance, and decommissioning of the windfarm and associated infrastructure.
Scoping is utilised to determine what should be covered in the environmental information to be submitted to a competent authority for projects which require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be undertaken.
Morecambe Offshore Windfarm requested a formal Scoping Opinion from the Planning Inspectorate in relation to the Morecambe Offshore Windfarm Generation Assets. The Scoping Report for Generation Assets was submitted on 23 June 2022. The Planning Inspectorate returned their Scoping Opinion on the 02 August.
In July 2022, the UK Government published the Pathway to 2030 Holistic Network Design documents, which set out the approach to connecting 50 GW of offshore wind to the UK electricity network (National Grid ESO, 2022). The process concluded that the Morecambe Offshore Windfarm and the Morgan Offshore Wind Project should work collaboratively in connecting the wind farms to the National Grid at Penwortham in Lancashire.
The process and decision were supported by both Morecambe Offshore Windfarm Limited and Morgan Offshore Wind Limited (the projects).
Following receipt of a Direction under Section 35 of the Planning Act 2008 from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; the projects submitted a Scoping Report for the Transmission Assets on the 28 October 2022 to the Planning Inspectorate. This Scoping Report comprises a shared offshore export cable corridors to landfall and shared onshore export cable corridors to onshore substation(s), and onward connection to the National Grid electricity transmission network at Penwortham, Lancashire. The Planning Inspectorate returned their Scoping Opinion on the 08 December 2022.
Aerial surveys were initiated in April 2021 to collect offshore bird and marine mammal density data across the Morecambe Offshore Windfarm site. These surveys, undertaken by aircraft flying across the site monthly will continue during 2021 and 2022. Surveys to understand the presence of onshore overwintering birds have begun.
Mapping of the seabed via geophysical surveys was completed for the windfarm area in October / November 2021.
Further geophysical surveys are planned for the generation, export cable route and landfall areas in 2023. Geotechnical data is also planned to be collected during 2022 to test the physical properties of the seabed and inform project design.
Additional environmental surveys are planned for 2022 both onshore and offshore to inform the project design and EIA processes. These will investigate shipping activity, seabed habitats and ecology, terrestrial ecology, onshore ground conditions, land use and a host of other aspects of the environment in which the project is situated.
Morecambe and Morgan are two new offshore wind farms being developed in the Irish Sea by separate joint venture companies, working towards a common goal of helping the UK to achieve its net zero ambitions and, specifically, of reaching offshore wind generation goals. Together the wind farms have the potential to power more than two million households with clean energy.
- Morecambe Offshore Windfarm Limited, a joint venture between Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios, S.A. and Flotation Energy Ltd, is developing the Morecambe Offshore Windfarm.
- Morgan Offshore Wind Limited, a joint venture between bp and Energie Baden-Wurttemberg AG (EnBW), is developing the Morgan Offshore Wind Project
The two joint venture companies are collaborating to connect the wind farms to the electricity transmission network.
In November and December 2022, we held non-statutory consultation events (both in-person and online) to help communities and other stakeholders understand the proposals for these two wind farms, along with their connection to the electricity network.
In these series of public events, we introduced our projects, shared our early plans and gave stakeholders and members of the public the opportunity to have their say. The feedback we received will help influence the detailed design of the projects and help us develop the best possible proposals. For further info on this or on the consultation process visit: https://www.morecambeandmorgan.com/
A major infrastructure development like Morecambe Offshore Windfarm brings with it a wealth of opportunity for businesses of all sizes across a wide range of disciplines.
We aim to utilise as many UK based suppliers where reasonably possible during all stages of the development phase. Subject to the relevant consents and a positive Financial Investment Decision, this will ramp up significantly through to the construction phase. There will be further opportunities throughout the long-term operational phase.