Norfolk windfarm base revealed - but one community loses out

Sea Challenger from A2Sea installing turbines at the Dudgeon offshore wind farm. Picture: Roar Linde

Sea Challenger from A2Sea installing turbines at the Dudgeon offshore wind farm. Picture: Roar Lindefjeld/Woldcam - Statoil. - Credit: Roar Lindefjeld/Woldcam - Statoil.

A Norfolk location for two major windfarm bases has been revealed  - but another seaside community has lost out.

Equinor, the operator of Dudgeon and Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farms off the Norfolk coast, has today announced it will combine the operations for both wind farms into one hub in Great Yarmouth.

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm - Credit:

The new operation base will start from the end of the month and will have a combined control room, office and warehouse and an upgraded communication system for improved efficiency and safety.

It means the end of the the Sheringham Shoal operational team and its partners operating at Egmere, near Wells.

Equinor has 90 employees in total on its two current operations bases and about 30 positions will move from Egmere as part of the move to the new combined operations base in Great Yarmouth.

Karl Butler, the Sheringham Shoal plant manager, said: “We are of course sad to be leaving the area in which we have built strong business and community relationships and received great support throughout the years.

"But it is a move to further strengthen our operations and longevity of both Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon wind farms.

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"We’d like to thank North Norfolk District Council, the Walsingham Estate, Wells Harbour and all local businesses and stakeholders for many happy years here and look forward to joining our colleagues in Great Yarmouth, as we strengthen our operating model within the Greater Wash.”

In the same move teams from both sites will share the existing Service Operations Vessel  used by Dudgeon.

Trine Ingebjørg Ulla, head of operations for Equinor’s UK wind farms, said: “Both wind farms are performing extremely well within the current set up, but as we position ourselves for future growth we have a responsibility to both the UK consumer and to our shareholders to regularly assess our operations, and make sure we continue to operate our assets efficiently.

“With the new operating model, we will have greater access to our turbines offshore by reducing the impact of both weather and tidal restrictions."

The Sheringham Shoal Visitor Centre at The Mo in Sheringham will remain under the new model.