Developer clarifies cable consultation

The energy firm planning an underground cabling route through East Lindsey has promised to clarify uncertainties relating to the proposals before a public consultation next year.

RWE npower renewables recently announced it would be holding a consultation into the onshore infrastructure options required to transfer electricity from its offshore Triton Knoll wind farm to a substation in Bicker Fen early next year.

Opponents to the project, who fear it will disrupt and spoil East Lindsey’s rural countryside, have previously criticised RWE for failing to provide precise details about its plans, including the preferred cabling route and location of substation-like buildings along it.

Triton Knoll project manager Jacob Hain has now confirmed that RWE will announce its choice of power transferral, AC or DC, which will determine the type and size of substation-like building required along the cabling route.

A short-list of locations for the full substation around Bicker Fen will also be announced for consultation, which will determine the choice of ‘cable corridor’ to link with the coast.

A specific cabling route through that kilometre wide corridor would then be selected.

Mr Hain acknowledged details were still vague at the time being, but this, he explained, was due to the ‘momentum of public interest’ in the proposals which had developed early-on while RWE was still carrying out its initial investigation.

Once the investigation had yielded a short-list of viable infrastructure options, he said locally affected people would be given all the information available.

Many of the scheme’s opponents had hoped RWE would revise its onshore connection plans to avoid East Lindsey altogether by cabling along the seabed as far as the Wash.

Mr Hain said that RWE’s investigation into the viability of this option had conclusively proven it to be infeasible.

“I’m 100 per cent sure that we can’t take cables through that route,” he said.

East Lindsey District Council, the responsible planning authority, has also been updated on RWE’s consultation and said it is keen to ensure that ‘local people are widely consulted in a way that is open and transparent’.