The UK is one of the first countries in the world to have a legally binding target to have no net carbon emissions by 2050. This will require all electricity generation either to be zero carbon or to have its carbon emissions captured. There will also be a much greater need for electricity generation, as vehicles, homes and industry convert to using electricity instead of traditional fuels.
The most significant pledge made by the government in this area is for the UK to have at least 40 gigawatts of electricity being generated by offshore wind. The scale of the challenge can be understood from the fact that 39.4 gigawatts of electricity were generated from all sources in 2019.
The place with the greatest potential for offshore wind for the UK is the North Sea, and the Crown Estate has been leasing areas of seabed for this purpose in several rounds over the years, the most recent being in February 2021. At the same time, offshore wind turbines are getting larger and larger – turbines are now routinely taller than the Gherkin in London.
For the most efficient creation of these mammoth windfarms, specialist facilities on the shores of the North Sea are needed, so that they can be assembled and shipped over the shortest distances. That is where the Able Marine Energy Park will come in, combining manufacturing facilities with a quay that is around 1300 metres long, specially constructed to handle unusually heavy cargo.
How did we help?
We acted for Able UK Ltd in promoting the Development Consent Order (DCO) for the Able Marine Energy park, the first one to involve harbour facilities. The quay design needs changing due to the fast-moving technological developments in this sector and to accommodate this we are currently working with Able UK Ltd to promote the first ever material change to a DCO.
We are also advising Able on:
- the leases they will need,
- title due diligence and resolution of development constraints
- land acquisition and related compensation claims
- landlord and tenant works provisions
- design development and construction packages.