The submission of planning and marine licence applications for the power cables, which will connect the electricity markets of Scotland and Norway, opens up the project to the formal consultation process.
NorthConnect wants to lay a 665km, 1.4GW power cable connection which, if given the go-ahead, will enable power to be transmitted between Great Britain and Scandinavia. The link promises to benefit the Scottish consumer by helping keep prices down as well as enabling renewable electricity generation in Scotland and Norway to be maximised. It will help support the flexible, smart energy system the Scottish Government is striving for and facilitate even greater deployment of cost-effective low-carbon renewable energy solutions.
Richard Blanchfield, the NorthConnect Permitting manager in the UK, said: “To connect the two converter stations, two cables measuring around 665 km will be needed - that’s approximately the distance from Peterhead to London. The cables, which include a fibre optic control cable, will be able to transport energy both ways; they will monitor and respond instantaneously to meet the demands of either market and, crucially, be able to come to Scotland’s aid in the event of a ‘black start’ situation, ensuring our lights stay on.”
“NorthConnect is looking towards operation in 2023 so we are now continuing the permitting process. That’s why we have now submitted both a planning and marine licence application with a supporting Environmental Impact Assessment Report. Our objective is to keep the negative impacts of the project to an absolute minimum, on land and at sea”.
NorthConnect is seeking permission for the HVDC cable route which will feed into the converter station on a site at Fourfields, west of Stirling Hill quarry. The building, which was consented in 2015, will house the components required to convert electricity from direct to alternating current and vice versa to allow connection on to the National Grid.
Both Aberdeenshire Council and Marine Scotland will seek feedback from statutory consultees including Scottish Natural Heritage, the Marine and Coastguard Agency and the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, as well as from the general public. The finalised plans for the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cables to connect the consented converter station near Peterhead to a similar converter station at Simadalen in Norway are available for the public to view in the Peterhead area in hard copy, and to download via the NorthConnect and Aberdeenshire Council websites.
The NorthConnect application documents are on public display at both Boddam Library and the Fishermen’s Mission in Peterhead. Full details can be found on the official advert here.
The applications can also be examined at the local planning office: Buchan House, St Peter Street, Peterhead, AB42 1QF between the hours of 8.45 am and 5.00 pm on Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).
The application documents will be available online, both at www.northconnect.noand via the Planning Register at https://upa.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/online-applications/ where comments are able to be made.