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White Cross Offshore Windfarm

Cobra and Flotation Energy are proud partners of the White Cross Offshore Windfarm, a UK test and demonstration project deploying floating wind technology 52km off the North Devon coast.

Floating wind is the next step in the development of the offshore wind sector, enabling turbines to operate further offshore in deeper water, where winds are stronger and more consistent.

White Cross will use innovative floating substructure technology that is anchored to the seabed. There will be up to eight floating substructures with each unit supporting a turbine. Once operational, the nominal capacity of the windfarm will be 100 Megawatts (MW), providing enough energy to power over 135,000 households.

The objective of the White Cross Offshore Windfarm site is to test floating technology in the Celtic Sea to in turn, support future development of offshore wind in the region and to progress local supply chain development.

White Cross will play a key role in growing floating offshore wind in the UK and will contribute towards the following UK Government commitments:

  • reach net zero by 2050
  • generate 50GW of UK power from offshore wind by 2030
  • generate 5 GW of UK power from floating offshore wind by 2030

The White Cross Offshore Windfarm site is located 52km off the North Devon coast. Use our interactive map to explore the location in detail.

up to
8
floating turbines

up to
100MW
renewable energy

over
135,000
households

About the partners

Cobra and Flotation Energy are Joint Venture project partners for the White Cross Offshore Windfarm. White Cross is a Test and Demonstration Project and has been awarded by The Crown Estate, subject to the outcome of a plan level Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA).


Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios, S.A. (Cobra)

Cobra is a world leader in the development, construction and management of industrial infrastructures and energy projects, with 80 years of experience. Cobra is a world leader with the capability and determination to develop, build and operate industrial and energy infrastructures that require a high level of service, based on excellence in integration, technological innovation and financial strength.

Flotation Energy
Flotation Energy has a growing project pipeline of offshore wind projects with more than 13 GW in the UK, Ireland, Taiwan, Japan and Australia; and plans to expand into many more key markets.

The expertise of the Flotation Energy team lies in the project and engineering management of large infrastructure projects.

Flotation Energy has developed its own projects but also recognises the benefits of collaboration and working in partnership with other developers to deliver proven, cost-effective solutions.

Project timeline

Wherever possible we consult with our local communities, local businesses, elected members, regulators and other key stakeholders to receive feedback and help shape our plans. We work with local media and identify multiple channels to help promote our projects and engage with as wide an audience as possible, in the planning and delivery of our programme.

  • Project accepted by The Crown Estate, subject to Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) outcome
  • Western Power Distribution (WPD) electricity connection agreement into East Yelland substation
  • Stakeholder engagement commenced.
  • Website launched
Onsite environmental surveys progressed alongside continuous stakeholder engagement in support of the Section 36 Electricity Act 1989 consent application
  • Draft scoping report prepared
  • Habitats Regulations Assessment commenced by the Crown Estate
  • Scoping request submitted to Marine Management Organisation (MMO)
  • Scoping opinion received from the MMO
  • Consultation with Government, regulators, communities and interested parties (website, working groups, meetings, forums, exhibitions)
  • Submission of the marine licence and Section 36 consent application to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for the offshore elements of the project (floating substructures, wind turbine generators, offshore substation, anchors and moorings and inter-array and offshore export cable corridor)
  • Submission of Planning Application for the onshore elements of the project (onshore export cable corridor and onshore substation)
  • Expected delivery of the Plan Level Habitats Regulation Assessment and signing of agreement for lease with The Crown Estate
  • Expected delivery of section 36, marine licence consent and onshore planning consent
  • Completed onshore ground investigations and archaeological trial trenching
  • Commenced offshore Geotechnical survey
  • Turbine and substructure selection confirmed
  • Completion of the floating LiDAR campaign
  • Front end and detailed engineering design for all onshore & offshore aspects
  • Expected signing of Agreement for Lease following receipt of Plan Level HRA
  • Commencement of Onshore Pre-construction
  • Final investment decision expected
  • Commence offshore construction
  • Commence commissioning of offshore and/or onshore substations
  • 2027
  • First power generated
  • National grid connection for power export
  • Project overview

    Planning and consent

    As the capacity of White Cross is up to 100 MW, in terms of planning consent – the project does not require a Development Consent Order (DCO) for the whole project under the Planning Act 2008. Therefore, the project team has followed a split consenting regime consisting of both an onshore and offshore application.

    An Environmental Statement, which includes a full Environmental Impact Assessment, accompanies both our onshore and offshore planning applications. The Environmental Statement consists of a series of chapters which review in detail specific topics the project may interact with.  A Habitat Regulation Assessment has also been completed. These assessments provide detailed information on each topic to ensure that the environment is protected from potential harm brought about by a development and that the relevant authorities are aware of the potential effects of the project when making a decision. 

    Onshore planning application
    The onshore planning application incorporates all the onshore aspects of the project from mean low water springs (low tide), along the onshore cable route to the East Yelland Substation where the project will connect to the electricity grid.

    The planning application for the onshore elements of the project has been submitted to North Devon Council Local Planning Authority under application number 77576. To view the application on the planning portal, click here.

    Read the Non-Technical Summary of our onshore application which provides a concise and easy to understand overview of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process and the findings of the onshore EIA for the White Cross project.

    To read the Non-Technical Summary of our onshore application, as well as to view all other environmental statement documents submitted to North Devon Council Local Planning Authority, click here.

    Onshore application - Environmental Statement Documents

    Offshore application
    The offshore planning application incorporates all the offshore aspects of the project from the windfarm array – 52.5km offshore, along the offshore cable route to mean high water springs (high tide). The offshore application covers the marine licences and Electricity Act Section 36 requirements. It has been submitted to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) as the offshore regulator.

    Read the Non-Technical Summary of our offshore application which provides a concise and easy to understand overview of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process and the findings of the offshore EIA for the White Cross project.

    To read the Non Technical Summary, as well as to view all other environmental statement documents submitted to the MMO, click here. The MMO case reference number for the White Cross application is MLA/2023/00113.

    To view and comment on the offshore consent application on the marine licence applications public register, please click here.

    Offshore application - Environmental Statement Documents

    Scoping report

    Scoping is a key part of the project development process. Scoping is utilised to determine the content and extent of the matters which should be covered in the environmental information to be submitted to a competent authority for projects which require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be undertaken. The White Cross Offshore Windfarm will require an EIA.

    Scoping is the process of identifying the key issues in relation to potential environmental effects of the project and is an opportunity to canvass the views of the local community and key stakeholders. Scoping allows the identification of potential issues at an early stage to inform the need for mitigation to be identified as early as possible. In addition, scoping ensures that EIA is proportionate to the key issues identified for the project.

    The Scoping Report was submitted to the Marine Management Organisation on 18 January 2022.

    Click here to read the Scoping Report
    For the best experience please download the PDF and open in Acrobat Reader (or similar).

    Surveys

    Aerial surveys were initiated in July 2020 to collect offshore bird and marine mammal density data across the White Cross Offshore Windfarm site. These surveys, undertaken by aircraft flying across the site each month, were completed in September 2022.

    Mapping of the seabed via geophysical surveys have been undertaken and geotechnical and benthic ecology surveys have been completed for the wind farm area and offshore cable route. These will provide information about the seabed and help understand the structure of the habitats and species that are present in the areas.

    Further onshore and offshore environmental surveys have been undertaken to inform the project design and EIA processes. These include shipping activity, seabed habitats and ecology, terrestrial ecology, onshore ground conditions, land use and a host of other aspects of the environment in which the project is situated.

    As the project design progresses, further geotechnical surveys will be required to provide greater details and a better understanding of the localised ground conditions to enable construction.

    Consultation process

    Consultation with stakeholders and local communities is a key part of planning and consent processes and as such, is central to in part informing our project team’s decision making.

    Three public consultation events have been held in the local area over the last eighteen months, providing information on the project to local communities, as well as providing an opportunity for feedback and answering community questions.

    Our public consultations were held in July 2022, October 2022 and March 2023. A virtual event was also held in October 2022. We would like to thank all of those individuals who attended these events and provided feedback on the project proposals.

    In addition, expert topic groups were formed of statutory and non-statutory consultees to provide additional input on key topics of interest included within the environmental impact assessment. The aim of these groups was to facilitate reaching agreement on the scope and approach to the impacts included within the Environmental Impact Assessment, as well as the suitability of the data used.

    Formal consultation will now be carried out by the relevant organisations following the submission of our onshore and offshore applications.

     

    Delivering Net Zero

    The UK has made commitments to a 78% reduction in carbon emissions by 2035 and to Net Zero (reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 100% relative to 1990 levels) by 2050.

    To achieve this target offshore wind has a vital role to play and in recognition of this key role the UK Government has a target of delivering 50GW of energy from offshore wind by 2030, with 5GW to be from floating projects.

    The climate emergency must be dealt with. The White Cross project has the potential to contribute to the Net Zero targets and to play a role in decarbonisation of the UK economy.

    White Cross is deliverable now and it is essential if the UK is to be successful in delivering Net Zero.

    News

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    Public consultation response – Interim statement

    Public consultation response - Interim statement Oct 2023 We have received a large number of…
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    Onshore planning application submitted – Press Release

    Onshore planning application submitted – Press Release Sept 2023 White Cross Offshore Windfarm has taken…
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    Land referencing and archaeological investigations begin

    Land referencing and archaeological investigations begin July 2023 Rory O’Brien, Land Manager I joined Flotation…
    Read More
    Read More Updates

    Supply chain

    A major infrastructure development like White Cross Offshore Windfarm brings with it a wealth of opportunity for businesses of all sizes across a wide range of disciplines.

    We aim to utilise as many UK based suppliers where reasonably possible during all stages of the development phase. Subject to the relevant consents and a positive Financial Investment Decision, this will ramp up significantly through to the construction phase. There will be further opportunities throughout the long-term operational phase.