The Department of Business Energy & Industrial Strategy announced a review of the Offshore Transmission Network on the 15th July 2020
Whilst this review is urgently needed, the grave situation on the Suffolk Coast is not going away. National Grid are the driving force, directing multiple energy projects to connect in and around the Suffolk Coast AONB. There are 8+ massive NSIP energy proposals (Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects) including: Sizewell C, Scottish Power EA1N & EA2 wind farms, Nautilus, Eurolink, SCD1, SCD2 & extensions planned for Galloper and Great Gabbard.
National Grids actions as the network operator are the biggest threat to the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB in its 50 year history – The actions of National Grid are not scrutinised and National Grid appears to show no concern to the consequences of its actions on a landscape that is supposed to be ‘protected in law’. With the current uncoordinated approach the expansion of new nuclear & offshore energy generation appears to be at any cost, where the cost efficiencies for National Grid and energy companies over ride everything else, including damage to: the AONB, coastal landscapes, tourism, local businesses and communities.
The Norfolk coast faces similar issues and the communities along the Suffolk & Norfolk Coasts have had enough.
SASES and fellow campaigns including SEAS (Suffolk Energy Action Solutions), SOS (Save Our Sandlings), are lobbying local government, Suffolk Coastal MP, BEIS and the energy companies to get answers and action. The Offshore Transmission Review must find solutions and take action to establish ‘efficient and coordinated’ onshore connections with less local environmental and economic damage in East Suffolk.
RIGHTING THE WRONGS
– There is no master plan even though this was called for almost a decade ago by the Energy Symposium 2011 when Conservative minister Tim Yeo called for planning and co-ordination – East Suffolk communities have been let down by successive administrations.
– National Grid have failed to invest in infrastructure, to upgrade brownfield connection locations like Bradwell in Essex, and other locations along the Thames gateway.
– National Grids actions and connection offers appear to be unscrutinised. There appears to be a focus on the Sizewell/Leiston connection point which is being extended out to Friston (a green field rural site).
– The current system has been used by National Grid and energy companies to exploit small vulnerable communities.
– There is a complete failure to consider the cumulative effect of multiple energy projects and this failure directly impacts on the future sustainability of: The Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB in this area, the local tourism industry, businesses and communities.
SASES IS CALLING FOR ACTION & INCLUSION OF EA1N & EA2 IN THE BEIS REVIEW
SASES believes the BEIS Offshore Transmission Review must include Scottish Power / National Grid EA1N & EA2 DCO applications. These proposals alone will set the precedent for digging up a swathe of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB and the development of multiple substations on greenfield agricultural land in the countryside…..the exact effects on unspoilt landscapes the review must consider.
The BEIS announcement acknowledges that there are inefficiencies in the current approach and that they have considerable environmental and local impacts.
How can Scottish Power’s DCO’s move forward when they raise many of the concerns and issues the BEIS review is seeking to address?
Uncoordinated projects, unnecessary destruction of protected landscapes, proposals to build industrial substations on 50+ acres of greenfield land, a need for energy companies to co-ordinate to find least damaging solutions to connect offshore wind energy to the grid.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION
Therese Coffey MP, Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council should stand up for their constituents/electors and take a proactive and robust approach so that the Review delivers for the medium/short term, not just the long term.
Therese Coffey MP – email@example.com
Richard Rout – Cabinet Member for Environmental and Public Protection – Richard.Rout@suffolk.gov.uk
Craig Rivett Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development – Craig.Rivett@eastsuffolk.gov.uk
Copying your local county and district councillors:
Andrew Reid (Andrew.Reid@suffolk.gov.uk), Russ Rainger (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jocelyn Bond (Jocelyn.Bond@eastsuffolk.gov.uk), TJ Haworth-Culf (Terry-Jill.Haworth-Culf@eastsuffolk.gov.uk)
Tell them (in your own words) if the BEIS Review is to mean anything that;
– As a constituent/elector you expect them to leave no stone unturned in proactively and robustly supporting the Review in the medium/short term as well as in the long term.
– A more efficient and coordinated onshore solution needs to be found which is less environmentally and economically damaging – whether via an ‘offshore ring main’ or upgrading brownfield connection points like Bradwell.
– The current DCO applications should be suspended pending the outcome of the Review as they overlap and set the precedent for unnecessary energy chaos.