Initial consultation on wind farms plans to date now open
- North Essex communities are being invited to find out more about the proposed offshore wind farm and provide their feedback online via the project’s consultation portal
- Consultation on early plans launches on Monday 25 October and runs until Friday 10 December 2021
People across North Essex and the surrounding region have been invited to provide their feedback on early proposals for North Falls Offshore Wind Farm – a project that is being developed in the southern North Sea more than 20km off the UK coast.
North Falls Offshore Wind Farm covers a total area of 150km² and is an extension project to the existing 504 MW Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm. It is being developed by a 50/50 joint venture company owned equally by SSE Renewables and RWE Renewables.
This early consultation on the plans will be conducted online, with information about the project being published on the project website from Monday 25 October. Feedback is then being invited, either through the website or via freepost, by Friday 10 December.
Plans for the offshore wind farm remain at an early stage but the project will generate much needed green electricity for the UK, as well as unlocking a range of socio-economic benefits – such as skilled new jobs and supply chain opportunities for local businesses.
While the offshore site of the wind farm has been agreed, the location of the onshore infrastructure is yet to be determined, because a grid connection location for the project has not yet been provided by National Grid.
However, it is likely this connection will be located in North Essex and this initial consultation is therefore designed to introduce the general principles of the project to local people and gather their initial feedback. There will be further opportunities for local people to offer their views on the plans in more detail as part of future consultations and the formal consenting process.
Martin Whyte, Project Manager at North Falls, says: “North Falls is set to play a key role in the UK’s net zero ambitions, and while we do not yet have an onshore grid connection, we wanted to share our plans to date with local communities. We will be able to give further details next year, however as engagement with local people is important to us, we wanted to introduce the project now, share the information we have and start to gather early input.
“Our need to cut emissions and decarbonise our energy generation network is being brought into sharp focus by the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, which starts in Glasgow next week. Recent issues around energy security have also highlighted the need to develop further home-grown sources of energy generation here in the UK.
“But the focus of this initial consultation is to introduce the North Falls project to local communities in and around North Essex, share the information we have available at this early stage and give people a first opportunity to give us their views.”
The consultation is open from Monday 25 October to Friday 10 December 2021. To find out more and register feedback, please visit www.northfallsoffshore.com. Feedback can also be sent by mail to FREEPOST North Falls. This is a freepost service, so no stamp is required.
North Falls Offshore Wind Farm
North Falls Offshore Wind Farm is being developed by a joint venture company owned equally by SSE Renewables and RWE Renewables. The joint venture company comprises team members from both owner organisations. The project site is more than 20 kilometres off the UK’s coast in the southern North Sea and covers a total area of 150 km2.
RWE Renewables: RWE Renewables is one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies. With around 3,500 employees, the company has onshore and offshore wind farms, photovoltaic plants and battery storage facilities with a combined capacity of approximately 9 gigawatts. RWE Renewables is driving the expansion of renewable energy in more than 20 countries on five continents. From 2020 until 2022, RWE Renewables targets to invest €5 billion net in renewable energy and to grow its renewables portfolio to 13 gigawatts of net capacity. Beyond this, the company plans to further grow in wind and solar power. The focus is on the Americas, the core markets in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
About SSE Renewables: SSE Renewables is a leading developer, owner and operator of renewable energy across the UK and Ireland, with a portfolio of around 4GW of onshore wind, offshore wind and hydro. Part of the FTSE-listed SSE plc, its strategy is to drive the transition to a net zero future through the world class development, construction and operation of renewable energy assets. SSE Renewables is leading construction of more offshore wind energy than any other company in the world right now. It also has the largest offshore wind development pipeline across the UK and Ireland at around 7GW. SSE Renewables parent company SSE plc is a Principal Partner to the UK Government for COP26, the UN climate summit in November 2021.