The Rampion 2 team has launched a four-week informal consultation this week to raise awareness and seek feedback on their initial proposals to expand the Rampion wind farm off the Sussex coast, UK.
A full and formal consultation will follow later in the year, ahead of the submission of a development consent application to build the Rampion 2 wind farm.
Depending on the final scheme, Rampion 2 could power over one million homes in the UK and reduce carbon emissions by around 1.8 million tonnes per year, in addition to Rampion’s existing generation.
In autumn last year, it was announced that an offshore ‘Area of Search’ was being assessed for a maximum of up to 116 turbines, the same number as the existing Rampion offshore wind farm.
The results of technical and environmental surveys and stakeholder feedback will be used to identify the optimum site for the new wind farm, which will be located somewhere within this area.
A subsea export cable is proposed to bring the power ashore under Climping beach, with an underground onshore cable route required to bring the power inland to connect to the national transmission grid at Bolney, where three potential sites are being considered for a new substation.
“For the past 18 months, we have undertaken a series of desktop studies and site surveys to establish the physical lay of the land. We have also been talking with many local authorities, MPs, parish councils and experts on wildlife, environment, transport, geology, archaeology, business and fishing,” said Chris Tomlinson, Development & Stakeholder Manager, Rampion 2.
“We will use the results of our investigations and stakeholder engagement to identify the best possible sites for the onshore and offshore project elements, while minimising disturbance to the local community and environment in delivering this vital green energy project. At this early stage, we would very much welcome feedback from the Sussex community so that we are aware of all local issues, concerns and constraints as we prepare more detailed proposals for a formal public consultation later this year.”
A ‘virtual village hall’ exhibition experience has gone live for people to find out more and to share their views and any local information they think may be important for the project design. Online visitors can tour the exhibition to study maps and charts, watch a video flying over the onshore cable route options, find out how the operating Rampion Wind Farm was built, or arrange a virtual meeting with members of the Project Team to ask more detailed questions.
Formal public consultation on detailed proposals will take place in mid-2021 prior to further refinements of final proposals which will form the basis of the Rampion 2 development consent application, planned to be submitted late in 2021.
If consent is awarded, construction would begin 2025/26 at the earliest with a view to having a completed, operational project before the end of the decade.
Rampion 2 is being developed by RWE on behalf of a joint venture company including a Macquarie-led consortium, and Canada’s energy infrastructure company Enbridge, together with owners of the existing Rampion offshore wind farm.