Find out how Equinor’s Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon wind farms are building a more sustainable future for East Anglia and beyond.

Offshore wind farms like Equinor’s Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon are a cornerstone in the UK’s strategy to meet its net zero targets. Both wind farms are operated out of the port of Great Yarmouth at Equinor’s Greater Wash operational base – and the UK Secretary of State for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero recently granted development consent to the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon extension projects off the North Norfolk coast.

READ MORE: Norfolk wind farms get approval to double capacity

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm is a 317MW site comprising 88 Siemens 3.6MW turbines with a blade span of 107 metres. The 88 wind turbines play a significant role by generating approximately 1.1 terawatt-hours (TWh) of green energy annually – enough to supply clean electricity to nearly 280,000 British homes.

Meanwhile, Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm is a 402MW wind farm completed in 2017 that has been producing enough green energy to power more than 430,000 UK homes from its 67 6MW wind turbine generators.

The consent decision enables the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon extension projects to double the capacity of the existing wind farms, which means that Equinor’s wind farms in Norfolk will power nearly 1.5 million households.

Eastern Daily Press: Jonathan Jarmey, principal engineer in operations and maintenance at Sheringham ShoalJonathan Jarmey, principal engineer in operations and maintenance at Sheringham Shoal (Image: Equinor)

As a principal engineer in operations and maintenance at Sheringham Shoal, Jonathan Jarmey (pictured above) is responsible for making decisions to safeguard the long-term reliability of the assets.

“I always had an interest in renewables and felt like I should be contributing and involved in the clean energy sector,” Jonathan said.

“A typical day for me can be anything from producing a rolling five-year maintenance plan with lifetime extension, or organising and supporting a jack-up vessel (JUV) for the installation of major components.”

The maintenance operations team works 365 days a year to keep the turbines producing power when the wind is blowing.

During the construction phase, the extension projects are anticipated to support more than 1,800 full-time jobs per year, generating over £370 million in direct gross value added (GVA) to the East Anglian and UK economy.

Eastern Daily Press: Equinor's Great Yarmouth Hub buildingEquinor's Great Yarmouth Hub building (Image: Equinor)

Equinor has many opportunities within the UK renewables sector – from telecoms and automation to vessel operations coordinators. Jonathan said that Equinor’s values centre around the person rather than their skillset.

“We look for people that are open, collaborative, courageous and caring,” he said. “The focus on these values makes the working environment feel comfortable – like a family.

“Offshore wind is an adventure. We face challenges every day but there is never a dull moment – it’s a rewarding place to be.

“The opportunities in East Anglia in the coming years will be growing with many different wind farms in development. The future of the wind industry for the local area is looking promising.”

READ MORE: Building green careers in the energy transition

Eilidh Prise is senior supply chain management consultant at Equinor. Starting as a graduate in 2020, Eilidh is based in Aberdeen but supports Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon offshore wind farms, as well as Hywind Scotland floating wind farm and Doggerbank.

“The world, the climate, is changing,” she said. “We need to transition to a different way of doing things. We need broad energy companies to invest in renewables because we need a stable energy supply now more than ever. They are the ones that have got the capital to make these big projects happen.”

Eilidh is responsible for putting contracts in place to complete operations. She works “openly and collaboratively” with technicians, engineers, plant managers, vendors, suppliers, contractors, supply chain and stakeholders to “get the job done in the best way possible”.

Eastern Daily Press: Seacat Columbia is a lower emissions crew transfer vessel Seacat Columbia is a lower emissions crew transfer vessel (Image: Equinor / Seacat Services)

She said there are always things that can be improved in operations.

“Electrification of vessels, for example. One of our crew transfer vessels, Seacat Columbia, is a lower emissions vessel, which is great, but it’s not always as simple as just finding a solution and putting it in place.”

In recent years, Sheringham Shoal’s operational model has moved from crew transfer vessels (CTV) sailing out of Wells-next-the-Sea to a service operational vessel (SOV) with walk-to-work access.

Eilidh said that Equinor’s internal job market means that employees have access to a range of roles – from communications to operations to commercial and more.

“Equinor is a company which understands that diverse opinions are what we need to make improvements,” she said. “That’s what’s going to help us solve the climate crisis. Everybody needs to try and play their part.

“As a young female at Equinor, I feel like I’m at the forefront of the energy transition. We’re like pioneers, especially with Dogger Bank off the North East of England, soon to be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm. To be involved in that at such an early phase is really exciting.”

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This article is part of the Eastern Daily Press Clean & Green campaign, which aims to promote our region as the biggest in the UK and Europe for all forms of renewable energy.