Thanet Extension Offshore Wind Farm

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

Thanet Extension Offshore Wind Farm

Received 17 August 2018
From Nemo Link Limited

Representation

The Nemo Link Project is an electricity interconnector between the UK and Belgium: it will be the first electricity interconnector between these two countries, and it is a joint project between National Grid Interconnectors Limited, part of National Grid Plc and Elia Group, the Belgian electricity transmission system operator.

The Nemo Link Project is a high voltage interconnector with an approximate capacity of 1GW and it will comprise two 130km HVDC subsea electricity cables, two 3.1km onshore HVDC underground electricity cables, an HVDC converter station located in the Richborough Energy Park to convert HVDC power to HVAC power, three HVAC underground electricity cables (one circuit) between the converter station and the substation and a connection bay at an existing substation located in the Richborough Energy Park.

One of Nemo Link Limited’s (NLL) key concerns is to ensure that its infrastructure is properly protected in respect of potential impact from the construction and operation of the Thanet Extension Offshore Wind Farm Project. From a review of the application material provided, the Project has the potential to affect the integrity of the Nemo Link Project’s infrastructure and there is insufficient information provided to enable a full understanding of the impacts that the Project may have on the Nemo Link Project.

Offshore, the Project’s electricity transmission cables will need to cross the Nemo Link Project’s subsea electricity cables at some point regardless of routing because the Project’s windfarm site is to the north of the Nemo Link Project’s subsea cables but the Project’s landfall is to the south of the Nemo Link Project’s subsea cables.

The proposed method of this offshore crossing will need to be assessed and the impacts on the Nemo Link Project’s subsea cables will need to be fully understood. At present, there is insufficient information to allow this assessment to take place.

The onshore route options are of particular concern to NLL, as part of the Nemo Link Project’s onshore cables have not been installed underground: instead, they are surface laid with a chalk bund constructed over them to provide protection. The potential for the Project’s construction activities to have impacts on the Nemo Link Project’s onshore infrastructure has also not yet been assessed and still needs to be fully understood. At present, there is insufficient information to allow this assessment to take place.

NLL would object to the inclusion in the DCO of powers for the acquisition of land or rights that NLL has an interest in given the importance of the Nemo Link Project to the UK, and further and in any event given the proximity of the projects NNL requires that protective provisions are agreed and included in the DCO to protect the continued operation and maintenance of the Nemo Link Project.

NLL notes it has begun to engage positively with the promoter in relation to agreeing protective provisions.