Developers have responded to comments from Lincolnshire County Council who recently expressed ‘serious’ concerns over the Triton Knoll windfarm project.
The County Council criticised the development of the onshore electrical infrastructure needed for the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm and wrote to the Department of Energy and Climate Change questioning the wisdom of determining the planning applications for the onshore and offshore parts of the development separately.
It has also criticised the way in which the developer, RWE had dealt with local concerns throughout the process.
Triton Knoll, a multi-billion pound investment in clean green UK energy is still in the development phase.
Developers say over £20 million has already been invested in the UK as a result of this project with £1.75 million invested in the East Coast of England.
It is anticipated that a substantial proportion of contracts associated with the construction of Triton Knoll would be awarded to UK companies and once built the wind farm would produce enough energy to power the equivalent domestic needs of up to 800,000 average UK households.
In response, Jacob Hain, Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm Project Manager said: “We are disappointed to learn that Lincolnshire County Counc, Colin Davie has written to the Secretary of State. Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) have suggested that RWE Innogy UK has approached the community consultation for this project with ‘incomplete information’, despite agreeing a revised timetable with RWE Innogy UK for the provision of the requested information.”
“We discussed the outstanding report with a Lincolnshire County Council Planning Officer last week and informed the Officer that it will be made public next month. Also, as part of our commitment to carrying out consultation in line with the wishes of local communities, we have repeatedly invited Lincolnshire County Council to comment on our proposed consultation approach over the last 12 months. We have recently been informed that, the Council have agreed to feed into and comment on our consultation approach, and we look forward to their contribution”, he said.
“The position set out in the letter to the Secretary of State does not represent the extent of the efforts we have made to engage with the local community in the site selection process over the last 18 months. This includes seven public exhibitions; two questionnaire-based consultations aimed to gather local knowledge to facilitate site selection; meetings with all directly affected Parish Councils; and a consultation with landowners to understand land use and farming practices. In addition, we have issued seven comprehensive newsletters to local residents, businesses and stakeholders, and kept our project web pages up–to-date so people have ongoing access to the latest information. More consultation activities are planned throughout the Summer and Autumn where local residents and landowners can learn more about the proposals and have their say”, he added.
In conclusion, Mr Hain Said: “Lincolnshire County Council have already raised their concern about the decision to de-couple the Electrical System application from the wider Offshore Wind Farm, both to RWE Innogy UK and the Secretary of State. However, the Secretary of State was “satisfied that it was not necessary or indeed possible for (RWE) to submit detailed information about the anticipated grid connection for the proposal as part of the (Offshore) Application”.