Norfolk’s landowners, farmers and local community leaders have spoken about their concerns over the forthcoming construction of three huge offshore wind farms.
The wind farms, by Danish firm Dong Energy and Swedish firm Vattenfall, are sited offshore.
However, the onshore underground cable installations, electricity relay stations and substations will affect numerous landowners and farmers along two substantial corridors of land.
The projects will see turbines built between 28 miles and 46 miles off the coast at Great Yarmouth.
The proposed cable routes will run from the coastal village of Weybourne in North Norfolk to a substation adjacent to the A140 in South Norfolk, and from Happisburgh on the Norfolk coast to join the National Grid network close to Necton in Breckland.
The wind farms could generate up to 3.6GW – enough energy to power the equivalent of 2.6 million homes.
But farmers are angry at the prospect of their land having cables running underground, thus affecting their ability to get on with their job.
Fraser Paskell – one of the region’s most experienced property lawyers working in the offshore wind and renewable energy sectors – said: “It quickly became apparent landowners are being increasingly frustrated by the developers’ inability to make a commitment to either the AC or DC power option.”
Dong Energy has said it has not yet been decided if the project will use AC or DC (direct current), adding that DC technology is not yet utilised in UK offshore wind farms, as the technology is still evolving for wind energy.
He continued: “A DC power option would involve a much smaller land ‘take’ for cable installations – less than one third according to one developer -and eliminate the need to construct relay stations and surface features along the cable corridors.”
Seven consultation events will now take place in September. Dong Energy will present findings of initial assessments, also known as Preliminary Environmental Information report (PEIR).
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