Ørsted has published updated plans for the proposed Hornsea Project Three offshore wind farm, highlighting the changes that have been made as a result of feedback received through consultation events, one-to-one meetings and wider briefings with statutory bodies and interested parties.
As well as refining the cable corridor width from 200m to 80m, and presenting locations for the onshore substation and onshore HVAC booster station, the project has also significantly reduced the construction programme following feedback, Ørsted said.
The onshore HVAC booster station, if required, will be constructed near Little Barningham, and the onshore substation will be constructed near Swardeston. Visual mitigation plans are underway and will be published in the final application.
Refined landfall zone, the area where the cables come onshore, known as the landfall zone, has been refined to avoid crossing Kelling Heath Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Oulton Airfield, near Oulton, has been selected as the main construction compound. Five secondary compounds will also be required along the cable route to facilitate construction works in those areas, providing equipment storage and welfare facilities.
Construction phasing has been reduced from three to two phases, meaning that the maximum onshore construction period has been reduced by three years.
''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,'' Stuart Livesey, Project Development Manager, said.
“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 been reduced from 342 to 300, the developer said.
“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 SSSIs (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and other environmental and logistical considerations,” Livesey said.
The 2.4GW Hornsea Project Three could be the biggest wind farm in the world, joining Ørsted’s Hornsea Projects One and Two which are already underway. The turbines will be installed over 120km from the north Norfolk coast, so will not be visible from shore, and if built to full capacity the project could supply the electricity needs for well over two million homes, Ørsted said.
Ørsted expects to be able to submit a planning application in the second quarter of this year, and if successful, construction is expected to start in 2020.