Forewind Narrows Down Location for Dogger Bank Project One Cable Connection (UK)

The development of Forewind’s first offshore wind farm, known as Dogger Bank Project One, takes another step forward today with the announcement that the cable connecting the proposed wind farm to the national grid at Creyke Beck, in East Riding of Yorkshire, will come to shore between Fraisthorpe and Ulrome on the Holderness coast.

Forewind, developer of the 8660km2 Dogger Bank zone, has carried out preliminary environmental and engineering assessments along most of the Holderness coast to help narrow down the landfall location for its first grid connection.

In selecting the northern section of the Holderness coast, Forewind considered both onshore and offshore factors such as habitats, archaeology, potting activity and seabed and land conditions, along with the outcome of consultations with key local stakeholders including fishermen and East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Forewind Head of Onshore Development, Mark Thomas said that along with the approximate landfall location, the developer has also identified its broad onshore and offshore cable corridors from within which the final cable route will be selected.

When finalised, the onshore underground cable will be approximately 34 kilometres long while the offshore cable route connecting the wind farm to the landfall will be around 150 kilometres in length.

Dogger Bank Project One will have a capacity of up to 1.4GW however its exact location within the zone is also still to be defined. The wind farm site will be selected from within an area on Dogger Bank zone, known as Tranche A, that Forewind identified as the broad location for its first three projects.

“The final sites for each aspect of the project – including the precise landfall, cable routes, onshore converter stations and the wind farm itself – will be identified through further onshore and offshore engineering and environmental assessments, as well as via consultation with a wide range of stakeholders,” Mr Thomas said.

Onshore work will include the assessment of habitats and surveys to determine the presence of birds and protected species such as the great crested newt. Engineering surveys will consider field drainage systems, ground conditions and cable installation techniques for crossing roads, railways and other utilities where necessary.

“The surveys will continue for the next 12 months and will take place over a broad corridor, which will enable flexibility in the selection of the final cable route and converter station sites,” he added.

Forewind will contact landowners to arrange access for surveys and, as the development progresses all affected landowners will be consulted on micro siting of the cable route and converter stations.

Along the offshore cable corridor, a geophysical survey to assess the seabed and help determine the most appropriate type of cable burial techniques has commenced using two vessels, the 61m Tridens 1 in waters more than 15m deep and the 9.7m Titan Explorer in shallower depths. Meetings have already been held with many of the near-shore shellfish fishermen who pot along the Holderness coast and a further meeting will be held this week with those who may be affected by the geophysical survey.

The results from this survey will also help to ascertain which further studies should be undertaken to identify the seabed habitats and fish ecology.

Within Tranche A of the Dogger Bank zone, a number of boat and aerial surveys will continue along with engineering studies to identify the best location for the wind farm project itself.

“All these onshore and offshore surveys will contribute to the progression of our Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as we aim to select the most practicable location for the wind farm and its supporting infrastructure,” Mr Thomas concluded.

Forewind will hold a series of stakeholder consultation events later in the year to communicate details of the preferred landfall, cable corridor and converter station locations and to gather input from all stakeholders, including the local community.

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Source: forewind, June 10, 2011; Image: Statnett