A controversial renewable energy project involving a widely opposed substation in Skegness has seen permission granted for the world’s largest wind farm off the Lincolnshire coast.
The government has today given planning consent for 288 offshore turbines to be built as part of RWE npower renwable’s Triton Knoll project.
The onshore infrastructure associated with the project - not included in today’s decision - involves underground cabling from Anderby Creek to a substation in Biker, passing through a reactive compound on the outskirts of Skegness and has met significant criticism from Lincolnshire County Council.
Executive councillor for the environment Coun Colin Davie believes RWE should avoid East Lindsey altogether and favours a connection route along the seabed to Walpole, north Norfolk.
“The decision by the secretary of state today is hardly surprising, knowing his obsession with offshore wind and the heavy subsidisation of such schemes by the taxpayer,” he said.
“The county council remains totally opposed to these proposals by RWE for the landfall of cable at Anderby Creek, the reactive substation at Skegness and the main substation at Bicker.
“We believe there’s a better way of getting the power onshore which will not harm the Lincolnshire countryside or the attractiveness of Skegness as one of the country’s best tourist destinations.”
RWE has welcomed the decision, believing the project could attract billions of pounds of investment while creating hundreds of jobs and making a substantial contribution to the UK’s clean energy supply.
“This is a crucial milestone and means we are one step close to being able to deliver this much needed energy infrastructure,” said Triton Knoll project manager Jacob Hain.
“Today’s decision sends another positive message to the industry about the growth and potential of renewables in the UK.”
The 1,200MW project, which is expected to generate enough power to meet the needs of 820,000 homes, was granted alongside the Britain’s largest onshore wind farm outside Scotland - Pen Y Cymoedd in South Wales.
The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey has hailed the projects as ‘testament to the power of inward investment in the UK’.
“These two projects will attract billions in investment into the UK, support hundreds of skilled green jobs in Lincolnshire...whilst providing homes with clean energy,” he said.
“We have provided certainty early to onshore and offshore wind investors and now see significant investment decisions being made that will benefit the UK’s economy for years to come.”