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RWE attempts to appease critics

The energy firm behind controversial underground cabling planned for East Lindsey has clarified its position in the hope of appeasing mounting public opposition.

RWE npower renewables has provided councillors with more details about its proposed electrical infrastructure, which some feared would cause widespread disruption.

Project manager Jacob Hain has explained that the cable route, necessary to transfer power from the planned Tritton Knoll offshore wind farm with the National Grid, has not been finalised, and that contrary to rumours, there is no hidden agenda.

Speaking to the Standard Mr Hain said: “One of the reasons we’ve not been able to provide clarity is because the options we are considering are breaking the boundaries of technology. Tritton Knoll is in a technological grey area and we won’t know the best option until our design studies are completed, which won’t be until next year”

Councillors opposing the scheme, which will see 110km of cabling from the coast between Anderby and Ingoldmells to a substation near Bicker Fen, believe an alternative route along the seabed would cause less disruption. Mr Hain said the route would cause ‘enormous challenges’ and could pose serious issues to the fishing industry.

Further concerns have been raised about the nature of the onshore cabling proposals, which councillors initially believed would be DC but now feared would be AC, requiring a mini substation known as a ‘reactive compound’ along the route.

Mr Hain has explained that the initial suggestion for a DC route was made by the National Grid, not RWE, and that feasibility studies had revealed difficulties with it.

He and his team are still investigating both options but if their investigation does favour the AC route, he has assured opponents that the reactive compound would be no larger than 7.5 acres.

Having selected the underground option to appease those who feared pylons would ruin the Lincolnshire landscape, he believes RWE has done its best to minimise disruption and hopes its opponents will recognise the benefits of a scheme providing hundreds of jobs and enough energy to run 850,000 homes.

Coun Craig Leyland said he found the meeting useful but remained concerned about the location of the reactive compound.

And Coun Angie Smith said she was not satisfied with RWE’s explanation of the need for AC cabling, as she knew of other schemes that had successfully implemented DC.