Consultation starts on 2GW wind shared transmission assets

A statutory consultation on the transmission assets for two offshore wind farms under development in the Irish Sea with a combined capacity of almost 2GW got under way on 12 October.

The shared transmission assets will include offshore export cables

The consultation, which runs until 23 November, will focus on the proposed substation location for each project, offshore and onshore cable routes, preliminary environmental information reports and all the work undertaken so far. 

The developers of the two projects – the 1,500MW Morgan offshore wind farm being developed by BP and EnBW, and the 480MW Morecambe being developed by Cobra and Flotation Energy – are working together on the transmission assets.

Although the two projects are closely linked and aim to share their transmission works, each wind farm is required to submit its own development consent order, they said in a joint statement. Applications for those orders are expected to be submitted in 2024.

“Our joint approach has been designed to minimise the impact on the environment and local communities,” said Richard Haydock, programme director, UK offshore wind, BP. 

Al Rayner, project director for Morecambe Offshore Windfarm Ltd, noted that the collaboration on the transmission assets enables “a more pragmatic and simplified approach” for the projects’ design and implementation while also streamlining the consultation process for stakeholders.

The transmission assets will comprise both permanent and temporary infrastructure. Offshore infrastructure includes the export cables, up to six substation platform(s), interconnector cables and an offshore booster station for the Morgan project.

Landfall works include offshore and onshore cables, the intertidal working area and landfall construction compound(s), as well as temporary and permanent access.

Onshore infrastructure meanwhile includes onshore export cables to the two new substations, temporary construction compounds, temporary and permanent access, and onward connections to the existing National Grid substation at Penwortham, in northwest England.

Areas for biodiversity net gain and enhancement or mitigation are also included in the plans.