Fears are growing that an energy firm’s proposed electrical network connections in East Lindsey could pave the way for far more disruptive developments in the future.
RWE npower renewables maintains it has not yet chosen how it intends to connect its offshore Triton Knoll wind farm with a substation in Bicker Fen.
However, a number of local councillors believe its preference is for the cheapest but most intrusive option, which would open the floodgates for dozens more wind farms to be built locally and connect with the National Grid.
Coun Neil Cooper said: “This is a strategic plan to provide opportunities for far more on shore wind farms to be built, which would cause even more upheaval to our local area.”
Coun Cooper, Coun Colin Davie and Coun Angie Smith believe the energy firm will carry out its connections by creating miles of underground cabling from the coast near Anderby Creek, travelling southward through the heart of East Lindsey’s unspoilt countryside to the substation.
They fear this option would cause massive long term disruption to local residents and believe RWE should instead carry out the majority of its cabling offshore, to minimise its impact on the community.
Having attended a recent meeting with RWE and the NFU, Coun Smith now claims the energy firm has plans for an even more disruptive option, which could necessitate the creation of a substation-like building somewhere along the route.
Initially RWE’s plans were for underground DC cabling, however Coun Smith claims its representatives at the meeting told those present they now intended to build AC cabling.
AC cabling is cheaper but requires a number of ‘reactive compensation compounds’ to balance the power being generated.
Coun Smith said RWE were reluctant to provide details about the size of these compounds and fears this is because they are large enough to cause further opposition in the local community.
Having heavily opposed RWE’s initial proposals to build a 40 acre substation in East Lindsey, all three councillors are extremely concerned that these latest plans have begun to sound very similar to that which they successfully fought to overcome. Coun Smith said: “This is RWE trying to come in the back door and get their heavily opposed giant substation in East Lindsey after all.”
They are concerned this disruptive option has been chosen to conserve money, while providing future opportunities to service Lincolnshire’s expanding legions of wind farms
Coun Davie said: “It’s quite clear that this is an attempt to save money by going for the cheapest option while enabling the company to claw back its investment by connecting numerous on shore wind farms to its proposed route, which is unacceptable.”
However RWE’s Triton Knoll project manager Jacob Hain maintains that no decision has yet been confirmed.
He said: “It’s important to emphasis that no decision has been made regarding a cable route or what the electrical infrastructure will comprise for the project. However, we will continue to update stakeholders and local communities as our studies progress.”
Coun Cooper will be hosting a meeting at Irby and Bratoft Village Hall tonight, Wednesday, at 7pm to discuss the proposals.