An economic regeneration initiative known as the Vision for Skegness has swayed the decision to site an onshore electrical compound opposite Skegnesss Stadium.
RWE npower renewables have reviewed their site selection for part of their onshore electrical infrastructure, known as the Intermediate Electrical Compound, for the Triton Knoll Offshore wind farm.
A site between Orby and Addlethorpe in the vicinity of Skegness Stadium has now been selected and identified. This is located approximately 6km to the north west of Skegness and 4.5km west of the North Sea coastline.
The move follows a change of advice from East Lindsey District Council and newly available information on a previously selected site.
In 2013, RWE npower renewables carried out consultation to determine the zones for the required intermediate electrical compound and the onshore substation.
RWE npower renewables undertook evaluations of three shortlisted sites, which took into consideration assessments from experts and all the consultation responses received.
The ‘Brown Zone’ on land adjacent to Wainfleet Road Industrial Estate was previously selected and announced in June 2013, but following this selection, early plans were unveiled for a leisure development on the south-western portion of this area.
With support from Lincolnshire County Council for the ‘Vision for Skegness’ leisure plans, East Lindsey District Council planning officers subsequently indicated that the council would object to the siting of the compound on the outskirts of the town as it would conflict with those proposals.
After considering the views of key consultees and working with local communities, the shortlisted zones were reassessed by RWE.
Jacob Hain Project Manager said: “We have assessed the compatibility of the Intermediate Electrical Compound in the Brown Zone with plans for ‘The Vision for Skegness’ and concluded that co-locating with these developments would be highly complicated.”
These results, along with East Lindsey District Council’s revised consultation response, changed the scoring of RWE’s evaluation back to the newly identified zone as the preferred site.
Following the reduction of the required footprint for the Intermediate Electrical Compound by 40 percent, (7.25 acres instead of 4.4 acres) and taking into account feedback during consultation, RWE npower renewables have selected a site that is located directly between the existing infrastructure in the area.
“The identified zone is a suitable location because it’s very remote and has fewer properties in the vicinity, the nearest is 500m away,” said Mr Hain.
Work will continue on progressing the proposed electrical infrastructure package and further consultation will be held later this year, with invitations to local communities and interested parties to actively get involved, before a planning application is submitted to the planning inspectorate in 2015.
The project will supply an estimated 800,000 homes on average with “renewable home-grown energy”, with up to 900 MW of electricity from onshore wind farms transferred into the national grid.
It is estimated that the whole project will create 500 jobs, with the Triton Knoll Offshore wind farm creating 325 permanent UK jobs with opportunities for ‘local’ jobs with the ongoing infrastructure of the onshore site.
The project has resulted in £18m of investment in the UK, with £1.75m spent on the East Coast and consultations of local community investment will take place around Autumn 2014.
Local residents will receive a newsletter and a report on the consultation results and evaluation will be found on the Triton Knoll website shortly.