STOP PRESS: VATTENFALL HAVE ANNOUNCED CHOICE OF HVDC TECHNOLOGY TODAY IN A PRESS RELEASE.
We are delighted to report that Vattenfall has committed to HVDC technology for its Vanguard and Boreas offshore wind farms – which means there will be no relay stations near landfall at Happisburgh and less disruption along the cable route.
See the Vattenfall report on their website for the full story.
Vattenfall had intended to go forward into planning with the worst-case scenario – using HVAC technology (with just an option to go HVDC), and we were not expecting a final decision until the application was accepted. This early decision has removed uncertainty and will ensure that the impact to homes, the landscape, wildlife and tourism will be minimised.
Clearly, Vattenfall has listened to public concerns but it has also confirmed that HVDC is the best and most cost effective option as it will mean lower losses of transmitted electricity, fewer cables and lower equipment costs.
This has been a team effort and we would like to thank absolutely everyone who has helped make this happen, including local people, holidaymakers and visitors, our parish councils, the North Norfolk District Council, our MP Norman Lamb, the CPRE, the Friends of North Norfolk and many others.
N2RS will meet soon to debrief and regroup and decide what part we can play in the planning process to ensure the best possible outcome as the project progresses.
For now, once again, thanks to you all!
The history of the campaign:
A Swedish Government owned energy company (not a ‘green’ energy company, despite their claims), Vattenfall, are planning for two major offshore wind farms off the coast of North-East Norfolk and there are others. The technology required involves a choice between two options:
For an explanation of the systems, click on this link. High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) and High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC). If the HVAC option is chosen and approved by Government inspectors (with overall approval by the Sec of State), large cable relay stations will be constructed in North Norfolk and huge, 100m+ wide cable corridors will be cut through the Norfolk countryside from Happisburgh to the National Grid connection at Necton.
N2RS has recently been formed to oppose these structures in our open and unspoilt countryside and urge Vattenfall to use the HVDC option – something that may cost them extra money but be the least environmentally damaging option for the Norfolk communities and countryside over the 70km length of the cable route from the entry point at Happisburgh to the National Grid connection at Necton.
It is our understanding that under the damaging HVAC option, the two cable relay stations proposed for the Vanguard and Boreas offshore wind farm projects will be permanent, industrial structures – and if sited together, they will take up to twenty-five acres of open countryside.
Within these 25 acres there will be industrial sites larger than 4 football pitches – with several structures of 8m (27ft) in places, with far reaching, high pitched noise, with CCTV, with security fencing and access roads needing to be built. Is our unspoilt countryside a place for this?!
Unless the HVAC method of distribution and land location is challenged, the landscape will be permanently changed and damaged, not just here but where there are other cables laid for future offshore wind projects. These sites will never be decommissioned. Our mainly flat countryside in North-East Norfolk is highly unsuitable for major structures which will be visible for miles around. Inevitably, the many villages and hamlets that make up our beautiful rural community will be negatively affected. Apart from quality of life issues and significant wildlife disturbance, our important local farming and tourism economies will be affected.
Whilst we in North Norfolk accept the benefits of renewable energy, N2RS believes that more must be done to challenge the long term environmental impact onshore.
We are coming out in full support of the use of HVDC technology and if central government judges this to be impossible in Norfolk, the use of HVAC should only be sited on existing industrial land. With so many wind farms being planned now is the time to take action on this.
Crown Estate map showing offshore windfarms.
If you want to find out more about who we are and what we are doing, take a look here. WhoWeAre
You may also want to read the CPRE response to the consultation. A very well considered response and reflects the views and concerns of many other bodies and individuals
CPRE VattenfallPEIR consultation