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12/02/2018

Major Norfolk offshore wind farm plan updated

Words: Huw Morris
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The company behind proposals for potentially the world’s biggest offshore wind farm has unveiled updated plans following a major consultation.

Hornsea Project Three will feature up to 300 turbines positioned 120km from the North Norfolk coast which, if built to full capacity, could supply up to 2.4GW of electricity for more than two million homes.

Under the updated plans by Danish green energy specialist Ørsted, the area where the cables come onshore, known as the landfall zone, has been refined to avoid crossing Kelling Heath Site of Special Scientific Interest.

A cable corridor has been refined from 200m wide to 80m and will take power from Weybourne to a new substation at Swardeston south of Norwich. An onshore booster station will be built near Little Barningham if required.

The project will also use horizontal directional drilling technology at more than 70 ecologically valuable points and crossings along the route, avoiding the need for trenches.

“The planning process is iterative, so we initially presented a wide search area and then have relied on local knowledge, environmental assessments and information from local authorities and other statutory bodies, landowners and members of the local community to refine the design,” said project development manager Stuart Livesey.

Ørsted said the construction period has now been reduced to two phases, meaning the project could be up and running within eight years instead of 11.

It expects to submit a planning application later this year, and if it is successful, construction is expected to start in 2020.

Image credit | iStock

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