Developing an offshore wind farm

Less than 20 years on from the first offshore turbines being installed in British waters at Blyth in Northumberland, the UK remains number one in the world for offshore wind installed capacity, a testament to the professionalism and vitality of the UK offshore wind sector.

This project begins with the development work for an offshore wind farm, a very important part of the process. In this project you will consider the basic elements of an offshore wind farm, how we first begin developing our projects from just an idea, through the process of consultation to a fully consented proposal ready for construction.

You will also develop an engagement plan for one of the specific audiences below:

  • Primary school age pupils High school/college age students
  • Young people with additional learning support needs
  • Young people with caring responsibilities
  • Young people with a first language other than English

Your plan should consider their specific needs, align with principles of diversity and inclusion, identify best methods of communication, and offer rationale for your choices. Vattenfall will provide a template structure for the plan should you wish to use it.

What is an offshore wind farm?

What are the different elements of an offshore wind farm? How do these elements all work together to produce energy? Why do we need offshore wind and renewable energy? Consider what your chosen audience might already know and plan the best way of communicating the necessary information.

What is the development and consenting process?

How does a developer obtain consent to build an offshore wind farm? What is consultation? How does a developer engage with stakeholders and local community, and why is that engagement so important? What methods are used by developers to gather views and feedback from stakeholders/local community, and how does that information shape or influence project design? Your plan should include details of how you will engage with your audience at different stages of the development process.

Stakeholder and community engagement

How do we help inform different kinds of people with different needs about offshore wind farms? Research the likely concerns and motivating factors of the audience. What does research tell you is the best way of engaging them? What can behavioural science tell you about the best ways to address questions and concerns?

This project will help you to understand just some of the steps that the developer needs to undertake. This stakeholder engagement would contribute to the formal application that forms part of the body of evidence which is examined by the Planning Inspectorate as they undertake their role in overseeing public consultation and granting consent and permission to proceed. You will need to ensure that you approach each element in a rigorous, structured, and planned way. We will provide some materials to assist in setting the scene, and this should complement your own research. Throughout, you should explain the process you undertake and why. What does the research tell us about your chosen audience and their concerns? What are the ethical principles to consider? And finally, you should consider what steps you need to take to ensure full transparency?

Remember to consider the criteria, guidance and structure for a CREST award as you plan, develop and complete your project.

Offshore wind: a research project (project guidance) (1.44 MB)
Vattenfall: Developing an offshore wind farm (project brief) (555.22 KB)
CREST: a guide to CREST awards (1.42 MB)
Vattenfall and offshore wind: supplementary info 1 (1.69 MB)
Developing and consenting offshore wind farms: supplementary info 2 (1.99 MB)
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