The government has given the green light for the Hornsea Three Offshore Wind Farm to be built off the Norfolk coast.
On 1 January, the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) outlined how despite concerns raised on the potential impact on wildlife and villages in the county, Business and Energy Secretary, Alok Sharma, had granted development consent for Ørsted’s 2.4GW wind farm believing the benefits of the scheme, together with mitigation measures, outweighed the potential harm.
The concept of an offshore ring main is being explored, something that would eradicate the need for individual substations and cable corridors. Norfolk parish councils had called for the decision to be delayed as discussions continue on this, according to the EDP, though Sharma said he had to make a decision based on current policy.
Concerns had been expressed over extra traffic for Cawston and Oulton during construction, though Sharma felt mitigation measures will reduce noise and disturbance for locals to acceptable levels. Similarly with Nature England’s worries over damage to the Norfolk countryside during construction, Sharma said he believes it will be short-term and once more minimised due to the mitigation measures put in place. Duncan Clark, Ørsted’s Head of UK Region, said: “This determination is the culmination of a thorough and rigorous process which ensures that the project can deliver much needed clean energy at scale for the UK, whilst ensuring the potential environmental impacts of the project are minimised.”
The RSPB also raised concerns the development could harm a colony of kittiwakes at Flamborough Head in Yorkshire, though Clark assured work has been carried out with key stakeholders to develop a robust compensation plan that focuses on the implementation of onshore artificial nesting structures, specifically for kittiwakes. Clark added: “The unique compensation plan for Hornsea Three demonstrates that the industry can continue to deliver on the Government’s offshore wind ambition of 40GW by 2030 in a sensitive and environmentally responsible way.”