UK: Mainstream Submits Application for Neart na Gaoithe Onshore Transmission Works
Mainstream Renewable Power, the global renewable energy company that is proposing to develop the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm off the coast of Fife, has submitted a planning application to East Lothian Council for the onshore works required to connect the wind farm to the National Grid.
The planning application follows a period of extensive consultation with local communities and is for the laying of an underground cable on a 12.3 kilometre route from Thorntonloch beach, near Torness Power Station, where the cable will reach shore, to connect to the National Grid at the Crystal Rig II onshore wind farm in the Lammermuir Hills.
There will be no overhead cables at any point of the route. The cable will pass under both the A1 trunk road and the East Coast Main Line railway and no closures of either of these are anticipated. The trench in which the cable will be buried will be approximately 2 metres wide and 2 metres deep and will be fully reinstated as the work is completed. Installation will be phased in sections over two years.
East Lothian Council recently publicised their receipt of the planning application shortly and the proposals are now available for public comment as part of the planning process.
Mainstream Renewable Power submitted its application for offshore consent for the NnG wind farm to Marine Scotland in July 2012. Subject to approval, the company intends to commence offshore construction of the 450MW installed capacity project in 2015.
Submission of the offshore application followed an extensive process of detailed stakeholder consultation and is for a development consisting of 64 -125 wind turbines. NnG is planned to occupy an area of approximately 105 sq km on a site that, at its closest point to land, lies 15km off the Fife coast and in water depths of 45-55m. The wind farm will have to capacity to deliver 450MW of electricity – enough to power 325,000 homes in a city the size of Edinburgh, or up to 3.7% of Scotland’s electricity demand – when fully operational.
The development represents an investment of £1.4bn and is expected to create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs both during construction and during its anticipated 25 years in operation.
Press release, January 15, 2013; Image: neartnagaoithe