Sheringham Shoal covers 35 square kilometres (13.51 square miles) and consists of 88 wind turbines giving a total installed capacity of 317MW. The wind farm will generate 1.1TWh of green energy every year, which is enough to power almost 220,000 British homes.
The official opening ceremony was conducted by Prince Haakon of Norway and UK Energy Secretary, Ed Davey. The Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Ola Borten Moe was also in attendance alongside the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Trond Giske, Helge Lund of Statoil and Christian Rynning-Tønnesen of Statkraft.
Sheringham Shoal is owned equally by Statoil and Statkraft through joint-venture company Scira Offshore Energy Limited. According to Statoil’s president and CEO Helge Lund, the company drew on 40 years worth of experience of offshore oil and gas activities in order to complete the project and was assisted by various UK authorities, local communities and suppliers.
“We need to get the economy moving again and a massive expansion in home grown, clean, renewable energy capacity is central to this” said the UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey. “Sheringham Shoal will play an important part, supplying power to 220 000 homes, and providing jobs in the local community. Investment in the UK’s energy mix needs to come from increasingly new and diverse sources, and this project is an excellent example of that.”
At least 60 local people have been employed full-time to operate and maintain the wind farm pushing the UK’s operational offshore wind energy capacity to over 2.5GW.
Statoil and Statkraft also work together as part of the Forewind consortium which has been working on the Dogger Bank project 120 kilometres off the UK coast which promises to be the world’s largest offshore wind development to date.