Today His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway will officially open the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm built off the coast of Norfolk, the UK, by the owners Statoil and Statkraft.
The Crown Prince will open the wind farm at an official ceremony at historic Holkham Hall in North Norfolk with support from UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, along with the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Ola Borten Moe and Minister of Trade and Industry, Trond Giske, and the owners presidents and CEO's Helge Lund, Statoil, and Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, Statkraft.
Sheringham Shoal is owned equally by Statoil and Statkraft through the joint-venture company Scira Offshore Energy Limited. The opening takes place four years after Scira was granted consent by the UK government, and three years after the initial construction works began.
"Statoil has utilised competence from 40 years of offshore oil and gas activities to complete Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm. Together with our partner Statkraft we have benefitted from good cooperation with UK authorities, local communities and suppliers. I am proud to say that as a result of this joint effort, we are now able to deliver our first large-scale commercial project within renewable energy", says Statoil's president and CEO Helge Lund.
"The completion of Sheringham Shoal is a milestone based on Statoil's offshore experience and Statkraft's competence as Europe's largest generator of renewable energy. The electricity produced makes a significant contribution to the ambitious UK plan to increase the level of renewables, and creates local jobs and growth opportunities", says Statkraft's president and CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen.
UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey says:
"We need to get the economy moving again and a massive expansion in home grown, clean, renewable energy capacity is central to this. Sheringham Shoal will play an important part; supplying power to 220 000 homes, and providing jobs in the local community. Today's opening is also an illustration of the strength of the UK's strategic relationship with Norway. 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".
The local Scira organisation in North Norfolk has been preparing for the operational takeover for the past three years and now some 60 local people are employed full-time to operate and maintain the wind farm.
The completion of the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm means the UK now has more than 2.5GW of operational offshore wind energy capacity and retains its position as the world leader in installed offshore wind.
Statoil and Statkraft, together with RWE and SSE, are also partners in the Forewind consortium which aim is to achieve consent for the Dogger Bank projects 120 kilometres off the UK coast, potentially the world's largest offshore wind development.