County councillors are set to receive an early report on what two major North Sea wind projects could mean for the County when they meet next Friday (November 11).
The two projects being drawn up by Vattenfall and DONG Energy will see significant amounts of wind generated electricity brought ashore into Norfolk – although construction is not expected to get underway until 2020.
The two proposals have the potential to provide 3.3 million households with electricity and given their nationally significant scale will eventually be determined by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Now a report to members of the County Council’s Environment, Transport and Development committee sets out what is currently known about the two proposals and the planning process which will need to be followed in the years ahead if they are to come to fruition.
Both proposals will see underground cables being used and both companies have already begun to engage with local residents about what the proposals could mean via a series of public exhibitions.
Martin Wilby, Chairman of the EDT committee, welcomed the early discussion about the two schemes and said he wanted committee members to be kept fully informed as the two projects develop.
He said: “We welcome the fact that both DONG Energy and Vattenfall have signalled their early intention to consult widely with the people of Norfolk as they draw up proposals to deliver large quantities of electricity from wind farms off the Norfolk coast.
“We will play a full part as a statutory consultee and will keep our councillors fully informed as information becomes available. I would encourage Norfolk residents and parish councils to contribute to the discussions as they develop in the coming months.
“These are early days and a formal planning application is some way off. The County Council and others will be asked for their views on the merits of the proposals on planning grounds, but the final decision will be made by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Greg Clark) towards the end of the decade, given their national significance.”
The report sets out a number of key potential implications for Norfolk arising from the projects including the need for onshore grid connections, the potential impact on the environment the cable route may have and what the projects may mean for fishing and shipping.
The report adds that the schemes have potential economic implications for Norfolk in terms of possible new jobs in manufacturing; offshore construction and operations & maintenance.
Members are being asked to note the contents of the report at this stage. The committee meets in public at County Hall at 10am on Friday November 11 and members of the public and the media are welcome to attend.