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Wind farms near sign-off as environmental impact report submitted

Vattenfall's offshore Norfolk Vanguard project promises to be one of the largest in the world. Picture: Vattenfall

Vattenfall's offshore Norfolk Vanguard project promises to be one of the largest in the world. Picture: Vattenfall

© Ben Barden Photography Ltd.

Key plans paving the way for two major new wind farms in Norfolk have been submitted.

Cable route for proposed Norfolk Vanguard project. Picture: VattenfallCable route for proposed Norfolk Vanguard project. Picture: Vattenfall

Energy giant Vattenfall has submitted two pieces of key information - final plans to government to begin building their Vanguard project and an environmental statement submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for its Boreas farm.

Both projects will be located off the north Norfolk coast.

Boreas is the second of the Swedish firm's projects and if approved in 2020 will make a "telling impact" on reducing Norfolk's carbon emissions.

Catrin Ellis Jones. Picture: (Julian Claxton) CHVP and VattenfallCatrin Ellis Jones. Picture: (Julian Claxton) CHVP and Vattenfall

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Catrin Ellis Jones is the stakeholder engagement manager for both Vanguard and Boreas, and said that the developer was doing everything it could to minimise environmental impact.

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"The evidence of our conversations with the public is clear to see," she said. "We've chosen to use DC instead of AC - even though this is relatively unused, but this allowed us to minimise onshore building."

Vanguard teams will be using the same power lines laid for the Vanguard project for the Boreas project, which will be beside the Vanguard wind farm.

"Because it's so close we can utilise the cutting-edge technology from Vanguard on the Boreas project," Ms Ellis Jones said.

"We're using huge wind turbines - which will be far out to sea and out of sight - so that we can use fewer of them and cause less disruption to sea birds."

These wind turbines will be about 350m tall to their tip, and can produce up to 20 megawatts of power.

Vattenfall have also spoken to landowners, communities and councils which will be affected by the laying of cables through their land.

"We have compensation plans in place," Ms Ellis Jones said. "Not just financial, as we appreciate the cables could be going through agricultural land which may take a few seasons to return to normal."

The team will lay the cables in 150m bursts at a time to ensure the soil is not exposed for too long.

"We want to do it as quickly as possible and then move on. Other suppliers would dig trenches and lay it all, but we want to be in Norfolk for the next 30 years, and want to work with the county," she said.

Vattenfall have asked the Planning Inspectorate to make the environmental impact form public as soon as they are satisfied, so that the general public can view and comment on them.

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