North Falls project changes following consultation
- Consultation feedback results in a number of project changes for North Falls Offshore Wind Farm
- Project removes northern offshore array area from its proposals reducing visual impact of the wind farm
- Distance from shore increases from 22 kilometres to 42 kilometres
The proposed southern North Sea offshore wind farm, North Falls, has made a number of key project changes following a review of feedback received from its statutory consultation held during the summer.
The consultation comprised five face-to-face events in Essex and two webinars with a total of 231 attendees, and a resulting 642 pieces of written feedback from individuals, statutory bodies and community consultees.
In terms of outcomes from the feedback review, most significantly the project has dropped the northern offshore wind farm array area from its plans which will reduce both its visibility from shore and its offshore footprint, resulting in benefits for marine users such as fisheries and shipping.
North Falls is a proposed extension to the existing 504-megawatt Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm. It comprises an offshore array area of 95km2 off the East Anglia coast and a proposed onshore grid connection in Tendring, Essex. Prior to the consultation review it comprised two offshore array areas totaling 150km2.
The array removal also means that the wind farm’s closest point to shore will now be 42 kilometres, rather than the previous 22 kilometres, which will make a significant difference to what will be visible, particularly from the Suffolk coast.
North Falls Project Director, Andy Paine said: “North Falls completed its statutory consultation phase in July and since then the team has been reviewing the feedback and responses and determining how elements can be considered and what influence they can have on the proposals”.
Further changes since the end of consultation include a reduction in the number and maximum height of the project’s wind turbines, closer working with adjacent project Five Estuaries Offshore Wind Farm, and continuing with an offshore grid connection option as part of its proposals.
North Falls has recently published a newsletter with an overview of the most widely submitted feedback and a summary of how it has been taken into account within the proposals that will be submitted as part of the development consent order application next year.
More information about the project and about the outcomes of the consultation can be found on the project website: www.northfallsoffshore.com.
North Falls Offshore Wind Farm is being developed by a 50/50 joint venture company owned equally by SSE Renewables and RWE.