England Vattenfall has started a three-year permitting process for the 1.8 GW offshore wind farm, Norfolk Boreas, the sister project to Norfolk Vanguard.

Less than a year ago Norfolk Vanguard, also 1.8GW, started the same permitting process and now Boreas is off the mark.

Graham Davey, Project Manager for Norfolk Boreas, is excited about Norfolk Boreas’s potential to support Vattenfall’s wind energy ambitions and drive it to carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Vattenfall’s Norfolk Boreas is the second major wind farm we are bringing forward off the East England coast. We believe this project – along with Vanguard - can make a long term contribution to the region’s economy as well as produce clean, competitive power for the British consumer.

“Potentially Norfolk Boreas could be the project which gets Vattenfall to its 2025 target of 7GW installed capacity,” Davey says

No easy task ahead
The experienced Penzance based wind developer knows he is in for a big challenge: “To produce power by the middle of the next decade from Norfolk Boreas will require a huge effort from Vattenfall. Me and the development team have the job of handing over a well-designed wind farm to the realisation team in BA Wind. The permitting process is a significant exercise and not without risk. Building offshore wind in the North Sea safely, with local acceptance, to schedule and to budget is, as we know, no easy task. But Vattenfall is a world leader in competitive offshore wind and if anyone can do it we can.”

Whilst Norfolk Boreas starts the permitting process targeting a consent decision from the Secretary of State for Energy by 2020, Norfolk Vanguard has a consent decision of 2019 in mind.

Big project also on land
The final design of Norfolk Vanguard is getting closer. Ruari Lean, Norfolk Vanguard’s Project Manager, is keen to start talking to local residents in Norfolk about Vattenfall’s latest thinking on the project, including transmission cables from both projects sharing the same cable corridor on land.

“As well as a 1.8GW offshore wind farm, 47km off Norfolk, we are developing the infrastructure onshore needed to carry power to a substation 60km inland. This is big energy infrastructure – on land and out to sea.

“Our next step is to get out to the community later this month to talk about our latest thinking on potential search areas for the onshore works and the possible environmental, social and economic impact of the whole project. We expect a good conversation – concerns will be raised - but Vattenfall’s commitment to listening and openness means we are forging a trusting relationship with many stakeholders. People get the need for offshore wind, and they see the potential benefits of a major investment like ours,” Lean says.

This week (6 March) the Norfolk Vanguard team will send out 35,000 newsletters to local residents in Norfolk. Later in March Vattenfall will hold public engagement events in the region to talk about the latest ideas for the project.

Read more about the Norfolk Vanguard project

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