UK clears 900MW offshore plant power system amid delays

The £224m project’s green light is the second major offshore wind approval since the formation of the new UK government.

The UK government has approved the electrical system developments for the 900MW Triton Knoll offshore wind farm.

The development, which will include the wind farm’s export cables, substation and immediate electrical compound, marks a “significant milestone” for the wind farm jointly owned by RWE and Statkraft, Triton Knoll said.

With the approval from the UK’s new Energy Secretary Greg Clark the last regulatory hurdle, the project will now head towards securing funding in the next Contract for Difference auction.

While Triton Knoll declined to provide an estimate for the system development costs, the project’s total cost is estimated by developers RWE and Statkraft at about £3 billion ($4 billion; €3.6 billion), subject to fluctuation on the CfD granted.

When Statkraft joined the project in February 2015 as a 50 percent partner, the companies said financial close was due to take place in 2017. However, a spokesperson for RWE told Infrastructure Investor it would now happen at a later date.

Triton Knoll, originally proposed as a 1.2GW project, was reduced to its current planned capacity following RWE’s concerns over the project’s economic viability.

While Theresa May’s new government continues to evaluate its concerns over EDF’s proposed Hinkley C nuclear plant, Triton Knoll is the second offshore wind development to have secured approval in recent weeks after Dong’s 1.8GW Hornsea Project Two received the go-ahead in August.