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Hornsea Project Three offshore wind farm timeline update

HORNSEA Project Three offshore wind farm could be with planners before the end of June, Ørsted has revealed

Hornsea Project Three offshore wind farm timeline update

Consultations and technical work have been a huge focus of the past six months, with an update on the 2.4GW plan, which could enter construction in 2020, now given. 

That means the earliest operational date for what could be another world-leading project is now 2025.

Ørsted has also reduced the maximum number of turbines from 342 to 300, taking them from 7MW to 8MW, at this stage, with potential to go bigger and fewer still. 

While Grimsby is Ørsted's East Coast Hub for operations and maintenance, a major focus has been North Norfolk, where the electricity will be landed.

There the onshore cable route corridor has been refined from 200m to 80m, with landfall location changed, onshore infrastructure locations finalised, as well as a commitment to deliver in two phases rather than three, reducing the maximum envisaged overall build-out by three years.

Stuart Livesey, project development manager, said: “We're delighted that we’ve been able to incorporate so much of the feedback received into the final design. The views of local communities and stakeholders are of great importance to us, and we have taken these into account to reduce or remove areas of concern. 

“The planning process is iterative, so we initially presented a wide search area and then have relied on local knowledge, environmental assessments and information from local authorities and other statutory bodies, landowners and members of the local community to refine the design. I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to comment and shape the project so far.”

The onshore cable route is around 55km, hitting landfall between Salthouse and Sheringham on the North Norfolk Coast, terminating at Norwich Main National Grid Substation. 

Just like the use of Waltham Airfield for the onshore element of Hornsea Project One and Two’s cable and associated earth works, another former RAF site in Oulton Airfield has been selected for the main construction compound on Project Three. The team has also identified more than 70 ecologically valuable points and crossings along the route for which it will use horizontal drilling techniques. 

Mr Livesey said: “Hornsea Project Three is a much-needed infrastructure project that could supply clean energy to well over two million homes in the UK. Due to the scale of the project we had initially prepared to construct the project in three phases, however I am really pleased to say that we have taken on board the feedback and been able to reduce this to two phases.

“This means that the total time over which the onshore construction works could take place will be limited to eight years, as opposed to the initially stated 11 years. I want to be really clear that this does not mean eight years of continuous construction; works in any one section of the cable route would be a matter of months.

“The maximum number of turbines has also been lowered and the area where the cables will come onshore, known as landfall, has been refined and a preferred route selected to take account of Sites of Special Scientific Interest and other environmental and logistical considerations.”

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