Eight Offshore Wind Energy Projects are widely believed to be planned to connect to the National Grid at Friston. (This does not include future windfarm projects as a result of the seabed leases awarded by the Crown Estate in relation to the Round 4 process). Cumulative impact means eight substations and interconnectors constructed sequentially or consecutively. Plus, the addition of a nuclear power station, one of the largest in the world. This will be the largest complex of energy infrastructure in the U.K. situated in one of the most fragile ecosystems in the U.K. These are judged to be ill-conceived plans where the process of choosing the site for the mega infrastructure hub is shown to be flawed. There are a number of better alternative brownfield sites for this designated vast complex.
An offshore wind farm which could consist of up to 67 turbines, generators and associated infrastructure, with an installed capacity of up to 800MW, located 36km from Lowestoft and 42km from Southwold. From landfall the cables will be routed underground to an onshore substation at Friston, which will in turn connect into the national electricity grid via a National Grid substation and cable sealing end compounds, the latter to be owned and operated by National Grid.
An offshore wind farm which could consist of up to 75 turbines, generators and associated infrastructure, with an installed capacity of up to 900MW, located 37km from Lowestoft and 32km from Southwold. From landfall, the cables will be routed underground to an onshore substation at Friston which will in turn connect into the national electricity grid via a National Grid substation and cable sealing end compounds, the latter to be owned and operated by National Grid.
The Nautilus Interconnector is a proposed second Interconnector between East Suffolk and Belgium. It would create a new 1.4 gigawatts (GW) high voltage direct current (HVDC) electricity link. The project would involve the construction of a converter station in each country and the installation of offshore and onshore underground direct current cables (HVDC) between each converter station and underground alternating current cables (HVAC) between the converter station and substation in each country. In the UK, the offer from National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) allows for a connection at a new 400kV substation located close to the Sizewell 400kV network, provisionally referred to as ‘Leiston 400kV’. The current NGET substation location being promoted is less than ten kilometres from the coast, i.e. Friston.
EuroLink is a proposed High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission cable between Suffolk and the Netherlands. The capacity of the link will be 1400 MW. The proposals are to follow the same UK path as Nautilus (see above), i.e. Friston
The North Falls Offshore Wind Farm will comprise a number of wind turbines on fixed foundations, plus dedicated offshore and onshore electrical infrastructure. The newly-signed lease agreement is for an additional capacity of 504MW, the same as the existing Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm. "It will comprise wind turbines and their associated foundations, array cables which will connect the turbines to an offshore substation, export cables which will transmit the power from the offshore substation to shore, onshore cables and an onshore substation. National Grid has not completed its technical and environmental studies so no conclusion has been made about the location of the onshore grid connection at this stage. It is widely believed that National Grid will seek to use the Friston site.
Five Estuaries is an offshore wind farm to generate in excess of 300MW. The project consists of (but is not limited to): an offshore wind farm, including wind turbine generators and associated foundations and array cables; transmission infrastructure, including offshore substations and associated foundations, offshore and onshore export cables (underground), including associated transition bays and jointing bays, an onshore substation, and connection infrastructure into the National Grid. It is widely believed that National Grid will seek to use the Friston site.
SCD1 consists of constructing a 2GW offshore HVDC link and associated substation works between Suffolk and Kent. This project appears to have been sanctioned without it going through the DCO process. "Preliminary work to identify the optimal connection substations at both ends is ongoing". It is widely believed that National Grid ESO will seek to use the Friston site.
SCD2 consists of a second 2GW offshore HVDC link with associated substation works connecting Suffolk and Kent. This project is currently on 'hold' which means that it is considered optimal but delivery of this option should be delayed by at least one year. Again, it is widely believed that once sanctioned, National Grid ESO will seek to use the Friston site.
The Secretary of State has granted a three month extension to the Examination.
During the recent development consent order hearings (DCO), the Suffolk Energy Action Solutions group (SEAS) brought to the attention of the inspectors the fact that Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) are using “gagging” clauses in their agreements with landowners involved in the planning process for their offshore wind farms, EA1N and EA2. These clauses offer financial incentives to individuals and groups to withdraw objections and/or desist from objecting to their plans. There can be no justification for making payments or imposing conditions which undermine a statutory planning inquiry conducted in accordance with public law principles.