This is a moment to remind ourselves of our reason for being: we are a single-issue grouping of councils dedicated to promoting the rapid evolution of an Offshore Transmission Network for offshore wind, by any means possible.
There are currently 95 of us (Parish Councils); we can exert pressure.
Developments have occurred in recent weeks that have opened up the whole debate again – yes, really! – and I urge you to respond to these developments now, if you possibly can.
- East Anglia Green (EAG)
(1) On 21st April, National Grid published the documentation for a non-statutory consultation on its East Anglia Green project. This is a plan to build 180 kms of new 50m-high pylons from Norwich Main substation to Tilbury, near London, in order to handle the delivery of the electricity generated by the wind farms making landfall in Norfolk and take it to London and the southeast – where it is needed.
Please see link below:
Of course, if the wind farms were to be connected to each other and then to the onshore grid using an OTN, then EAG would be entirely unnecessary, as the the power would be transported direct to London via seabed cabling.
Please actively consider responding to the consultation, if only briefly, either as individuals or as a council. The consultation ends on June 16th.
(2) On 20th May, six Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex MPs sent the letter to the Sec. of State, copy to National Grid. The letter vividly describes the deficiencies of this current EAG consultation and calls forcefully for the genuine consideration of a strategic offshore connection solution to be included, as a matter of urgency.
Dec 21 Update
Yesterday we received notification that the Secretary of State (SoS) at BEIS has decided to grant a Development Consent Order (DCO) to Vattenfall’s Norfolk Boreas Offshore Wind Farm. Please see letter attached below.
This is a bitterly disappointing decision.
This is now the third offshore wind farm project affecting Norfolk, for which the SoS has over-ruled the advice of the Examining Authority (the Planning Inspectorate), which each time has recommended refusal.
This decision pre-empts and flies in the face of the continuing work of the government’s own OTN Review, due to report on the progress of its Holistic Network Design at the end of next month.
The government’s arbitrary mantra of 40GW of offshore wind generation capacity by 2030 is hanging over BEIS and appears, for the moment at least, to be overriding the greater efficiency and lesser cost of an OTN.
Meantime, no date has yet been set for the decision on the re-determination of Norfolk Vanguard.
We need now to take a moment to read the Decision Letter, the Order and the Examining Authority’s Report, so that we can realistically evaluate their implications and decide on our next steps.
Oulton Parish Councillor
Convener of the Norfolk Parish Movement for an OTN