Hornsea Project Three publishes an indicative area for onshore cables

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 28 Feb 2017

DONG Energy has published an indicative area in which the cables carrying clean electricity from its proposed offshore wind farm could be located, and is seeking feedback from local communities in Norfolk.

Hornsea Project Three is a 2.4GW project that if built out to capacity will provide enough power for well over two million UK homes, five times the number of homes in Norfolk.

It may well be operated and maintained from Grimsby as part of the Danish giant's emerging UK east coast hub, following Hornsea One, which is confirmed for the town, and Hornsea Two, which sits between the Humber approaches and the original. No decision has yet been made at this early stage, as it begins the consenting process. 

The wind farm will be located more than 120km off the north Norfolk Coast in the North Sea, so will not be visible from shore. The cables connecting the turbines to the National Grid will be buried underground and will connect into the existing Norwich Main National Grid Substation, just south of city. The project will also require a new onshore substation in the vicinity of National Grid’s.

In Autumn 2016, Dong held its first round of community consultation events at six locations across Norfolk, and subsequently the project has refined its original search area. The team will present these refined plans at the upcoming consultation events and are seeking local views on the latest proposal.

Stuart Livesey, Hornsea Project Three project development manager, said: “As one would expect, there are many stages of assessment and consultation before building an offshore wind farm, to ensure that any disturbance or potential environmental impacts are identified, and then minimised or mitigated.

“In September last year, we laid out how we were going to consult with the local community in our Statement of Community Consultation. At that stage, we were seeking views on a wider search area. These events helped improve our understanding of the local environment and local concerns, after all the people living and working in these areas are more aware of local issues and sensitivities.

“We used those responses to refine the onshore search area, so now we’re looking to gain feedback on this more developed proposal.”

Hornsea Project Three is in the pre-application phase for gaining consent to be built. If successful, construction is anticipated between 2022 and 2025.

 “The project has the potential to make a real contribution to UK climate change targets”, Mr Livesey continued, “but while it will benefit the UK as a whole, we understand people might be worried about the cables coming onshore in Norfolk. That’s why we want people to attend our events, so that they can let us know their concerns and find out more.

“For example, many people don’t realise that in some cases we can bury the cables without causing any disturbance to land or vegetation, or that the land will return to a state where it can be farmed or grazed on afterwards. Thanks to feedback from local farmers we’ve already made changes, such as increasing the depth at which the cables will be buried by half a metre.

“We know that land owners know their land best, so we want to engage with them now on what we’re proposing so they understand our plans and we hear their comments.

“I’ll be at the upcoming events in Norfolk and I personally look forward to meeting people there.”

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