About the Project
The Project includes a range of proposed offshore and onshore infrastructure that will be used to transport electricity from the Morgan Offshore Wind Project and the Morecambe Offshore Windfarm (Generation Assets) to the National Grid substation at Penwortham.
The Project will comprise both permanent and temporary infrastructure including, but not limited to:
- Offshore infrastructure including offshore export cables, offshore substation platform(s), interconnector cables and a Morgan offshore booster station.
- Landfall works (where the offshore cables reach the shore) between Mean Low Water Springs and the transition joint bays including the offshore and onshore cables, intertidal working area and landfall construction compound(s), and temporary and permanent access.
- Onshore infrastructure from the transition joint bays to the electricity transmission network connection. This includes onshore export cables to the two new substations, temporary construction compounds, temporary and permanent access, and onward connections to the existing National Grid substation at Penwortham, Lancashire.
- Areas for biodiversity net gain, enhancement and / or mitigation including permanent access for operation and maintenance of those areas.
Key elements of this infrastructure on which we are seeking your feedback, located within the Transmission Assets PEIR Red Line Boundary, include:
Offshore substation platforms and booster station
The Project may require up to six offshore substation platforms (“OSPs”). This includes up to four for the Morgan Offshore Wind Project and up to two for the Morecambe Offshore Windfarm.
The OSPs will transform electricity generated by the Wind Turbine Generators to a higher voltage, allowing the power to be efficiently transmitted to shore. They are likely to have one or more decks, a helicopter platform, cranes and communication antenna.
One offshore booster station may also be required for the Morgan Offshore Wind Project.
The exact location of the Morgan offshore booster station is subject to further onshore design refinement. This will take into account factors, such as seabed conditions but is anticipated to be located within the search areas shown on the map.
No booster stations are proposed as part of the Morecambe Offshore Windfarm.
The landfall area is where the offshore export cables come onshore, and the transitional area between the offshore cabling and the onshore cabling.
The transition joint bays would house the area where the offshore cables are connected to the onshore cables.
The landfall area for the Project is proposed to be located between Blackpool and Lytham St Annes.
What is HDD (or other trenchless methodologies)?
Horizontal Directional Drilling (“HDD”) (or other trenchless methodologies) are used to install export cables below obstacles (e.g. sensitive habitats, roads and railways), to avoid potential direct impacts, as opposed to using open cut trenching techniques.
Indicative onshore export cable corridor route
The onshore export cables will provide a cable connection between the landfall area and the proposed onshore substations.
From the landfall, the onshore export cable corridor routes head east away from the coast. Beyond Blackpool Airport and Queensway (B5261), the route corridor narrows and heads south east towards North Houses Lane.
In the Lytham Moss and Higher Ballam area, there are two route options at present:
- Option 1 (north), which passes to the north of Higher Ballam and avoids a farmland conservation area; or
- Option 2 (south), which passes to the south of Higher Ballam.
Option 2 (south) is the route we presented at our previous non-statutory consultation. Option 1 (north) is an alternate onshore export cable corridor route option proposed to mitigate potential environmental impacts. More information on this is available in the PEIR (Volume 1, Chapter 4: Site Selection and Consideration of Alternatives).View Volume 1, Chapter 4
The two options come together east of Ballam Road and the onshore export cable corridor then turns south to cross Pegs Lane and passes to the north of Lytham Green Drive Golf Club.
The onshore export cable corridor then continues north east towards Hall Cross, north of Freckleton, and crosses the Freckleton / Hall Cross onshore export cable search area.
Within the onshore substations statutory consultation area and the Freckleton / Hall Cross onshore export cable search area, the final location of the cable corridor will be determined by the location of the onshore substations, as a result of our statutory consultation.
Onshore substations statutory consultation area
To connect to the national grid, we will need to construct two new onshore substations, one for the Morgan Offshore Wind Project and one for the Morecambe Offshore Windfarm.
The onshore substations statutory consultation area is the area identified during the site selection process within which the preferred onshore substations (and associated temporary and permanent infrastructure) for the Project may be located. We are asking for your feedback on this area, alongside your feedback on the proposed onshore substation site for the Morgan Offshore Wind Project and the two onshore substation site options for the Morecambe Offshore Windfarm.
Morgan preferred onshore substation site
The Morgan preferred onshore substation site is located between Kirkham and Freckleton, to the south of the A583 Kirkham Bypass and east of Hall Cross. Lower Lane lies to the north west of the site. Dow Brook lies to the east of the site. A temporary construction compound will be required, which is proposed to be located to the east.
Morecambe onshore substation site option 1 (north)
Morecambe onshore substation site option 1 is located to the north east of the Morgan substation site, to the south of the A583 Kirkham Bypass and west of Parrox Lane and Newton with Scales. Dow Brook lies to the west of the site. A temporary construction compound will be required, which is proposed to be located to the north of the proposed substation site.
Morecambe onshore substation site option 2 (south)
Morecambe onshore substation site option 2 is located to the south of the Morgan substation site, east of Lower Lane and to the north of Freckleton. Temporary construction compounds will be required, which are proposed to be located to the north and east of the substation site. A footpath also runs to the east of the site and temporary construction compound, with Dow Brook beyond. Ahead of the submission of the DCO application, we will announce our preferred site for the Morecambe onshore substation. This will be based on ongoing assessments and feedback received from our statutory consultation.
Why do we need substations?
The onshore substations will contain the electrical components for transforming the power supplied from the offshore wind farms to 400 kilovolt (kV) as required to meet the UK Grid Code for supply to the National Grid. The onshore substations will also house equipment and infrastructure for operating, maintaining and monitoring the onshore substations.
What equipment is located within the substation?
The onshore substation compounds would contain electrical equipment such as power transformers, cables, lightning protection masts, control buildings, communication masts, backup generators, access, fencing and other associated equipment, structures or buildings.
How will the substations be accessed?
A new temporary and / or permanent access route from the highway will be required for the onshore substations.
Suitable road access is essential for delivery of materials, and storage of equipment and plant during the construction phase of the Project.
A number of potential temporary and / or permanent access points from the highway are under consideration. More information is available in the PEIR (Volume 3, Annex 7.2: Potential accesses). The access point(s) will depend on the final location of the selected substation sites.View Volume 3, Annex 7.2
What will our substations look like?
The size and positioning of the proposed substations is still being developed. But at this early stage we’ve created indicative wirelines to show potential views for each of the substations which are based on information presented in the PEIR. You can view these in our PEIR Volume 4, Figure 1.7.View Volume 4, Figure 1.7
Three key locations where winter photography is available have been identified for the preparation of wirelines at this stage. All viewpoints will have wireline photomontages generated for them for the Environmental Statement.
The permanent onshore substation sites will be clearly marked and secured with appropriate fencing.
Screening for substations will be provided through landscaping and planting areas. The onshore substation sites are anticipated to benefit from existing hedgerows and woodland blocks within the local area. However, we are committed to additional planting to further screen the selected onshore substation locations and to providing additional biodiversity benefits.
Planting to screen substations will be established as early as reasonably practicable in the construction phase. For more information see our construction pages.
We are committed to sharing further information on the design of the substations as the Project progresses.
Why is Morgan consulting on a single site, while Morecambe is consulting on two options?
The different generating capacities of the Morgan Offshore Wind Project and the Morecambe Offshore Windfarm means that a larger onshore substation is required for the Morgan Offshore Wind Project.
As such, and in addition, the constraints within the onshore substations consultation area, such as topography, watercourses and proximity to residential receptors, have resulted in the identification of one potential preferred site for the Morgan Offshore Wind Project, and two potential preferred sites for the Morecambe Offshore Windfarm.
400 kV grid connection cable corridor search area
The connection between the proposed onshore substations and the existing National Grid Penwortham substation will be achieved by the 400 kV grid connection cables.
The route of the grid connection cables will cross existing infrastructure such as roads, railways and rivers. Where possible, all major crossings, such as major roads, rail crossings and the River Ribble will be undertaken using HDD or other trenchless technologies.
The 400 kV grid connection cables will be located within the 400 kV grid connection cable corridor search area. Where practical, the grid connection cable corridors / areas will be shared. However this is dependent on the final location of the two onshore substations and the final point of connection to the grid at the existing Penwortham substation, as well as ongoing route refinement related to the crossing of the River Ribble.
The River Ribble
The route refinement process for our onshore export cable route considered a wide range of environmental constraints as well as technical and engineering factors.
The River Ribble is heavily protected by various national and international environmental designations and we are taking these into consideration as we refine our grid connection onshore export cable corridor route.
It is as a result of these protections, and because refinement of the substations siting is also ongoing (and the subject of our statutory consultation), our grid connection area still remains relatively large.
At this stage, cable installation methodologies remain under consideration, including potential installation of cables beneath the riverbed of the Ribble, using HDD or other trenchless methodologies.
Potential biodiversity net gain, enhancement and / or mitigation areas
The Project aims to mitigate potential environmental effects on habitats by improving biodiversity, and where possible, delivering a net gain. We have identified potentially suitable areas for mitigation, enhancement and / or net gain, and these are illustrated on the map.
We want to work with landowners and statutory bodies to deliver these potential opportunities which are being explored. We are keen to hear more from, and to collaborate with existing biodiversity schemes in the area to identify where the Project can potentially make a positive contribution towards ongoing conservation.