A milestone reached at Morecambe
Rachel Watson, Consent Lead Morecambe Offshore Windfarm
In collaboration with Morgan Offshore Wind Limited (Morgan OWL), we have recently completed the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Report for the Morgan and Morecambe offshore wind farms’ Transmission Assets. Both Morecambe and Morgan windfarms have been scoped into the Pathways to 2030 workstream under the Offshore Transmission Network Review (OTNR), and the output of a Holistic Network Design review by the National Grid System Operator means both developments will share a transmission route to take electricity offshore to landfall and onwards into the National Grid.
The shared offshore and onshore export corridor (which will include the export cables for both projects) aims to minimise the impact of the cables on the environment and local community. We, along with Morgan OWL are seeking consent to create shared corridors to take the offshore export cables to landfall, and then share onward export cable corridors to onshore substation(s), for onward connection to the National Grid electricity network at Penwortham, Lancashire.
The EIA Scoping Report identifies the potential topics and impacts to be assessed in the EIA process based upon an understanding of the environmental conditions likely to be encountered within the study areas for the Transmission Assets. The Scoping Opinion for the transmission assets has recently been published on the Planning Inspectorate website and can be viewed here.
Now that we have received the Scoping Opinion, we are progressing the preparation of a Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) that will be consulted on later this year. The PEIR will provide an initial statement of the environmental information available, including descriptions of the likely environmental effects, mitigation measures adopted as part of the project, and relevant enhancement, mitigation and monitoring commitments. The PEIR is intended to allow those taking part in the consultation to understand the nature, scale, location and likely significant environmental effects of the Transmission Assets, such that they can make an informed contribution to the pre-application consultation process under the Planning Act 2008, as amended, and to the EIA process.
This is a significant milestone in the development of these pioneering wind farms, which when complete, together have the potential to power more than two million households.