Potential wind farm windfall, but concern remains

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The Triton Knoll wind farm project planned for off the Skegness coast will provide a ‘substantial’ economic boost to the area, according to the company behind its construction.

RWE Innogy UK says £500,000 has been allocated for community initiatives in Lincolnshire, up to £40,000 will be awarded to communities close to the development annually and that ‘significant’ employment opportunities can be expected.

A report looking into experience from other RWE Innogy UK projects estimates that about 1,800 UK jobs could be created from the construction of Triton Knoll.

The equivalent of 500 full time jobs could result from the electrical system construction works alone and at least 50 of these could be Lincolnshire-based jobs installing the infrastructure relating to these works, the company says.

RWE Innogy UK’s project manager for Triton Knoll Jacob Hain said: “We are committed to ensuring that communities close to our projects share in the substantial socio-economic benefits which offshore wind brings to a region. We are already talking to local authorities and other stakeholders in Lincolnshire to gather recommendations on how our community funding can be invested to make significant, positive and sustainable impacts.”

Once constructed it could provide enough electricity to meet the energy needs of up to 800,000 average UK households annually.

East Lindsey District Council’s portfolio holder for economic development Coun Craig Leyland: said: “RWE’s Tritton Knoll offshore wind farm and associated onshore activity has proved to be a very controversial development in East Lindsey.

“This said, we are pleased to see that there will be some community benefit for those towns and villages affected. I would encourage anyone affected to fully engage with RWE’s consultation process to ensure that those most disrupted by the development get the maximum benefit.”

Coun Colin Davie, member of Lincolnshire County Council for Ingoldmells Rural, was less positive about the possible ecomomic benefits the project may bring locally.

He said: “I see no benefits at all for sinking an underground cable route from Anderby Creek through to Bicker Fen and see only dis-benefits from giant ugly substations in the open countryside in Orby and Bicker.

“I have consistently stated that Triton Knoll should be connected to the national grid at Killinghole, Great Grimsby. The company should spend the money to deliver the best outcome for the people of Lincolnshire.”