Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm

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Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm

Received 20 July 2018
From Ministry of Defence


Dear Sir/Madam,

Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm

Application for a Development Consent Order under Section 56 of the Planning Act 2008, Regulation 8 of The Infrastructure Planning (Applications: Prescribed Forms and Procedure) Regulation 2009 and Regulation 13 of The Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2009

I write to confirm the safeguarding positon of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in relation to the above application to construct and operate the Hornsea Offshore wind farm.

This scheme will comprise of up to 330 wind turbines, up to 325m in height (to blade tip) to be located in the former Hornsea Zone in the Southern North Sea situated approximately 121 km northeast of the Norfolk. In addition to the turbine structures there will be associated ancillary offshore infrastructure including: up to 3 offshore accommodation platforms, up to 12 collector substations, between 4-6 convertor stations and subsea cabling. The onshore element of the project includes subterranean cabling as well as associated electrical substation and convertor installations to transfer the generated power from the north Norfolk coast to connect with the National Grid to the southeast of Norwich.

The MOD has assessed the location and proposed layout of the offshore element of the development scheme proposed. Based upon the coordinates detailed in the application documentation, I can confirm that the scheme will not physically impact upon MOD offshore Danger and Exercise Areas or defence maritime navigational interests.

The impacts of the proposed scheme upon defence aviation interests have been considered. The turbines and some of the tall ancillary offshore structures will affect military low flying training activities conducted in this area. As such it will be necessary for these structures to be fitted with appropriate aviation warning lighting to maintain the navigational safety of military aviation.

It is noted that in draft consent order at Schedule 11, section 6 (1): Aids to navigation and Section 8 (1) – Air Navigation define conditional requirements obligating the undertaker to exhibit such lights, marks, sounds, signals and other aids to navigation as directed by Trinity House in consultation with Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and to supply DIO with precise details of the location, dimension and commencement of construction of the offshore development. The MOD is content with the provisions but considers it necessary that they stipulate the requirement for aviation warning lighting to be fitted to relevant offshore structures as identified as necessary for the duration of the construction and operation of the scheme as identified as necessary by DIO.

The MOD has also assessed the effects of the proposed wind farm development upon the effective operation of its air traffic and air defence radars. It has been confirmed that the proposed wind turbines will not be in line of sight or detectable to MOD air traffic radars and are not expected to impact upon the operation of air defence radars. However, the MOD has recently identified that in certain conditions the performance of air defence radars may be adversely affected by the proposed wind farm when it is operational. Based upon the technical evidence currently available the MOD does not identify a need for any form of mitigatory measures to address this potential issue to be implemented in relation to the scheme for which consent is currently sought.

In relation to the onshore element of the proposed development, the location where the cable comes ashore on the north Norfolk coast is in proximity to the MOD transmitters located at RAF Weybourne. Works no.5 (landfall connection works), works no.6 (onshore connection works), works no.7 onshore connections (transition joint bays and landfall construction compound) and works no.8 onshore connection works will partially occupy the MOD statutory technical safeguarding zones surrounding these transmitter facilities. The application identifies that the foreshore and onshore export cable will be buried along its entire route. It has therefore been determined that the installed onshore cable infrastructure will not impact upon the effective operation of this MOD transmitter facility. The remainder of the onshore cable route does not affect MOD safeguarding interests.

I can therefore confirm that subject to the above provisions the MOD maintains no safeguarding objections to this application.

I trust this clarifies our position on this consultation. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to consider these points further.

Yours sincerely

Jon Wilson

Senior Safeguarding Officer