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Clark approves offshore wind farm infrastructure

Words: Laura Edgar
Offshore wind turbines / iStock_000033111088

Energy secretary Greg Clark has granted a development consent order for infrastructure that would connect the planned Triton Knoll offshore wind farm to the mainland.

The 900-megawatt (MW) wind farm, which is being developed by RWE and Statkraft, will be located off the Lincolnshire coast. It was approved by then energy secretary Ed Davey in 2013.

The consent will see the construction and operation of a submarine cable route for exporting electricity generated by the consented but not yet built Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm, to the shore along a 66 km route.

Additionally, it allows for a landfill site with associated jointing offshore and onshore cables to the north Aderby Creek, Lincolnshire; an onshore underground cable along a route of around 60km; an intermediate electrical compound east of Orby; a new onshore substation for the wind farm to the north-west of Bicker; and a connection to the existing National Grid substation at Bicker Fen.

Clark agreed with the examining authority’s conclusion that concerns regarding the potential impacts of the installation and operation of the underground cables, soil reinstatement and aftercare and the sequencing of cable installation along the onshore route, with exception of the link boxes, have been adequately addressed.

The examining authority and Clark agreed that the approach to ecological surveys was adequate, the approach to pre-construction surveys for the historic environment was acceptable and that proposed mitigation to reduce impacts meant there would be “no significant” visual effect from the operation of the intermediate electrical compound.

Clark concluded that there was a “compelling case for granting development, given the need for the development and that the potential adverse local impacts of the development do not outweigh the benefits of the scheme”. Therefore, he accepted the examining authority recommendation and granted development consent for the wind farm infrastructure.

RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive, Maf Smith, said: “The developers of this major infrastructure project are working hard to ensure that British supply chain companies will reap the economic benefits on offer from Triton Knoll. There’s massive potential for job creation for innovative companies in Lincolnshire, the Humber region and throughout the UK”.

The examining authority comprised three inspectors led by Kelvin MacDonald.

Clark’s decision letter can be found here.

Image credit | iStock