Energy firm refines plans for wind farm cable route

Vattenfall, the Swedish energy company behind the Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas offshore wind farms, has revealed a narrower search area for cables needed to carry clean power underground from the wind farms to the British consumer.

Earlier this year Vattenfall revealed a 700 metre search area for a 60km underground cable corridor north of Norwich. Ahead of nine public information days in March and April, the wind farm developer has now informed local people of a refined 200 metre corridor for the underground cable and search areas for possible locations for a substation and other infrastructure.

And following local feedback, Vattenfall can confirm that the underground cable corridor will cater for both Norfolk Vanguard and its sister wind farm Norfolk Boreas, which this week is to register its interest with the planning authority responsible for processing large energy infrastructure proposals.

Ruari Lean, Vattenfall’s Project Manager for the 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard, said: “Vattenfall hopes for the same strong turnout at the March and April public engagement events as we enjoyed last October. We have had a lot of interest in the wind farm and its onshore infrastructure. A lot of this interest, understandably, is about people’s concerns but also how we can maximise the value of any investment in the local area.”

Vattenfall has put wind power at the heart of its carbon neutral growth ambitions and has targeted a tripling of its capacity across Europe to seven gigawatts (GW) by 2025.

Vattenfall’s Project Manager for Norfolk Boreas, Graham Davey, said: “Vattenfall’s Norfolk Boreas is the second major wind farm we are bringing forward off the Norfolk coast. We believe this project – along with Vanguard – can make a long term contribution to the region’s economy as well as produce clean, competitive power for the British consumer.

“We are all looking forward to talking about the two separate projects in March and April – particularly exploring opportunities along the underground cable corridor with Norfolk Vanguard.”

This week 35,000 residents will receive a newsletter setting out the latest thinking on the wind farms. In January 2017, Vattenfall informed local people that it had narrowed the search area to 700m to enable focussed ecological works. Whilst those ecological works continue they will do so over the narrower search area to help determine the best siting of the underground infrastructure for both Norfolk Vanguard and Boreas.

The two wind farms combined will, at 3.6GW, produce enough power to meet the equivalent annual electricity demand of more than 2.61 million UK households, around 3.5% of total annual UK consumption2. They would also, at today’s level of UK carbon emissions from the power sector, prevent more than 4m tCO23 from entering the atmosphere.

1 Number of homes equivalent: This is calculated using the most recent statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change showing that annual UK average domestic household consumption is 4,115kWh: