Swedish power company Vattenfall has announced it has begun moving forward on developing the mammoth 1.8 gigawatt Norfolk Vanguard Offshore Wind Farm, which is expected to be completed and operational sometime in the mid-2020s.
We first heard word of the Norfolk Vanguard Offshore Wind Farm back in March of 2016, when Vattenfall announced the start of development on two wind farms in what used to be the northern half of the East Anglia Offshore Wind Farm development zone. The two wind farms, each set to have a mammoth capacity of 1.8 gigawatts (GW), are the Norfolk Vanguard and the Norfolk Boreas, located 47 kilometers off the Norfolk Coast.
“Vattenfall wants to work with Norfolk to capture the benefits of offshore wind,” said Ruari Lean, Vattenfall’s Project Manager for Norfolk Vanguard, said at the time. “There is an opportunity for Norfolk business and securing Norfolk jobs. There is also an opportunity to make a telling impact in the UK’s contribution to tackling climate change.”
Norfolk Vanguard on its own is expected to provide electricity for the equivalent of 1.3 million UK homes, which accounts for around 5% of current UK household electricity demand — not bad for a single project.
Announced last week, Vattenfall revealed that it was finally moving forward on its official autumn consultation on the anticipated environmental impact of the 1.8 GW Norfolk Vanguard project. Vattenfall is also moving forward with consultation with around 30,000 Norfolk households to ensure all are up to date on Vattenfall’s thinking for onshore infrastructure. Specifically, Vattenfall confirmed that no part of the 60-kilometer export cable will run under any house.
Currently, the specifics of Norfolk Vanguard hinge on future development decisions, including the environmental impact study. Vattenfall currently predicts that the project will use between 90 to 257 wind turbines with a generating capacity of between 7 megawatts (MW) and 20 MW — obviously banking on tremendous technological innovation and growth between now and construction.
“What we are setting out in detail in our statement of community consultation is our engagement plan to discuss and get feedback on what is called preliminary environmental information,” said Ruari Lean, Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard Project Manager. “The PEI report sets out our latest layout of the offshore and onshore parts of the project, what we think will be the impacts and how we will go about minimising them.
“We will consult according to the SoCC, which means we will do what we say we will do.
“We ask everyone who is interested to tell us what they think of the information that we have published. We have already received a high volume of detailed feedback on residents’ concerns but also how people think Norfolk can benefit from what will be a significant inward investment in the region. The quality of feedback so far has been excellent and we thank those that have taken the time to engage in this process for nationally significant infrastructure projects.”
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