County Hall signals support for Norfolk windfarm

Vattenfall’s 1.8GW Norfolk Boreas Offshore windfarm has been handed a boost after Norfolk County Council signalled support for the project.

The Eastern Daily Press reported that on 20 August the council’s planning and delegations committee had agreed to support the principle of the Boreas project – sister scheme to the Vanguard scheme.

The Vanguard project is a 1.8GW windfarm, 47km from the Norfolk cost, adjacent to the Boreas project. As a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, Vattenfall will learn in December whether the Vanguard project will be able to succeed when a decision on the Development Consent Order is made.

The council factored this into its considerations, exploring one scenario where the Vanguard project is built – with the Boreas scheme using the majority of its infrastructure, including buried cables from Happisburgh to a substation in Necton – and another where only the Boreas project moves forwards. In the first scenario, the existing substation at Necton would triple from 20,300 square metres to 65,250 metres for the connection points of both schemes. Similar work would be required under the second scenario, albeit on a smaller scale with expansion work going westerly rather than east. Space for an operations base at Peel Ports in Great Yarmouth to serve both wind farms has already been reserved.

If the secretary of state makes favourable decisions for both wind farms, work on the Vanguard project could commence in early 2021 with the Boreas scheme following in 2022.

Councillor Andy Grant said that the council welcomed “the whole project” and labelled it a “huge game changer” for the country. He added: “For us to be at the forefront, in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, of offshore energy, gives lift to the future of the coast. This will maintain the renewables industry for the next 30 years, going forward.”