Norfolk wind farm which would power 3.9 million homes gets County Hall support

Vattenfall want to build the Norfolk Boreas windfarm. Picture: Vattenfall

Vattenfall want to build the Norfolk Boreas windfarm. Picture: Vattenfall - Credit: Archant

Backing has been given for a proposed wind farm off the coast of Norfolk, with councillors hailing its potential for boosting the economy of Norfolk.

Norfolk county councillor Mick Castle. Picture by James Bass

Norfolk county councillor Mick Castle. Picture by James Bass - Credit: Archant

The 1.8-gigawatt Norfolk Boreas Offshore Wind Farm, proposed by Swedish company Vattenfall, would be a sister project to the Norfolk Vanguard scheme.

The Vanguard project was the focus of a public examination earlier this year and the secretary of state is expected to make a decision on whether it should go ahead in early December.

But, in the meantime, Norfolk County Council's planning and delegations committee agreed on Monday to support the principle of the Boreas project, which is a year behind its sister scheme.

The committee considered two scenarios. One where the Vanguard project is built and the Boreas scheme uses the bulk of that scheme's infrastructure, such as buried cables from Happisburgh to a substation at Necton.

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The existing substation there would need to triple in size from 20,300 square metres to 65,250 square metres for the connection points of both schemes.

The second scenario, If Norfolk Vanguard is not built, but Boreas is, would mean similar work needed for the first scheme would have to be done, but the Necton expansion would not be as big and it would expand in a westerly, rather than easterly direction.

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Andy Grant, Conservative county councillor for Lothingland, said: "We welcome the whole project, through which 3.9 million households will be powered, as a huge game changer for the country. "For us to be at the forefront, in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, of offshore energy, gives life to the future of the coast.

"This will maintain the renewables industry for the next 30 years, going forward."

Vattenfall has reserved space at Peel Ports in Great Yarmouth for an operations base which would serve both wind farms.

And Mick Castle, independent county councillor for Yarmouth North and Central, said: "In view of the glitch we had with the National Grid last week, the sooner we can get some extra capacity the better."

Officers said, depending on favourable decisions for the wind farms by the secretary of state, work could start on the Vanguard project in early 2021 and on the Boreas scheme in 2022.

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