Eastern Daily Press article "Hope grows that Norfolk countryside won't have to be dug up for every new wind farm"
PUBLISHED: 13:50 11 September 2019 | UPDATED: 08:06 12 September 2019 by Tom Bristow
Necton Substations Action Group are campaigning for an offshore ring main.
An energy firm has raised hopes that huge trenches will not be dug through Norfolk every time a new offshore wind farm is built.
In response to a meeting with North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb about building an ORM, National Grid wrote: "One possible solution which we are exploring to minimise the onshore impact of our infrastructure is for several offshore wind farms to be connected offshore via a ring main, reducing the number of individual inshore connections."
Orsted, the company behind Hornsea 3, supported the idea of an offshore ring main, while Vattenfall, which is building Boreas and Vanguard said: "All stakeholders are thinking strategically about how we gear up to meet net zero carbon emission objectives."
A National Grid spokesman said: "We are looking ahead and exploring all strategic connection options for the next generation of wind farms which includes the possibility of an offshore ring main.
"It's too early to say what the decision will be as there is a lot of work to do, but we'll certainly be engaging with local communities to understand their concerns and develop options that cause the least disruption".
The North Sea Wind Power Hub (NSWPH) has stated publicly that it wants to engage with both the Norwegian and U.K. authorities to pull them into the development of the offshore hub. As well as offshore wind expertise and access to the North Sea, both can also use oil and gas know-how to store hydrogen in offshore reservoirs and retrofit gas pipelines to transport hydrogen instead. A spokesperson for BEIS said: “The government recognizes the benefits of hybrid projects, including joint interconnector and wind projects, which may develop into efficient and cost-effective solutions to help the U.K. decarbonize. We are continuing to engage with stakeholders and developers to understand the potential benefits of these projects.”
Installing an additional 30GW within ten years will require significant changes to a range of policy frameworks, and co-operation between government and industry, writes Christopher Hopson