UK: RWE Updates on Triton Knoll Electrical System
To connect an offshore wind farm to the electricity network, electrical infrastructure will be needed both onshore and offshore. For Triton Knoll, this is likely to include:
– offshore cables running from the offshore wind farm to land on the Lincolnshire coast and underground cables running from the landfall to the connection location at Bicker Fen
– an electrical substation in the vicinity of the existing Bicker Fen substation
– an onshore compound is also likely to be required along the cable route depending on the cable technology used.
To find the best potential sites and routes for the electrical infrastructure, RWE has begun onshore and offshore environmental and engineering studies in the area.
These initial studies are helping the company to narrow down the site and route options and will continue throughout 2012.
RWE is also consulting with organisations such as the local planning authorities, the Marine Management Organisation and Natural England.
Once it has evaluated the different options, the company will carry out consultation with public bodies, local communities and other interested parties. It will then use the results of this consultation to inform its final planning application for the electrical system.
RWE is currently undertaking technology studies to understand what the electrical system will comprise.
It has two options to connect the offshore wind farm to the existing electricity network available to us at present which are:
Option 1: AC (alternating current) technology
– up to 8 electrical circuits offshore and onshore
– an onshore underground cable corridor up to 60m wide for construction
– substation in the vicinity of Bicker Fen of up to 20 hectare site footprint
– single compound at a point along the cable route which would have a site footprint of up to 3 hectares.
Option 2: DC (direct current) technology
– up to 3 electrical circuits
– an onshore underground cable corridor up to 40m wide for construction
– substation in the vicinity of Bicker Fen with an indicative area of 8 hectare site footprint
– likely requirement for a converter station onshore; footprint unknown at this stage
– likely up to 8 electrical circuits offshore.
These options, above, will be the subject of further engineering and design work.
RWE will continue to progress its environmental and engineering studies to identify suitable sites and routes for the electrical infrastructure and to select the technology that will be used to connect the offshore wind farm to the electricity network.
As this work progresses, the company intends to hold information days to discuss the project with local communities.
Press release, October 10, 2012; Image: RWE