Campaigners are hopeful electricity and gas firm National Grid will assess the merits of routing cables from offshore wind farms to Essex or through Suffolk.

Fiona Gilmore, founder of action group Suffolk Energy Action Solutions (SEAS), said she believed National Grid's Electricity System Operator (ESO) was going to carry out a 'comparative study' into bringing the cables onshore at Bradwell in Essex or via a new substation at Friston.

The power firm's Sea Link project currently plans to transmit the electricity via the Friston substation and Saxmundham converter station after reaching land at Aldeburgh.

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However, SEAS is opposed to the plans due to concerns about damage to the Suffolk countryside from the cabling.

The campaign founder said: "They are apparently going to agree to conduct the comparative study of Bradwell versus Friston which we have carried out and have been asking them to do theirs for the last year. So, that’s good news."

Earlier this month, the EADT revealed that the Government's Department for Energy Security and Net Zero will be providing an initial £1.7 million funding to enable two North Sea wind farms to share cables.

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Known as the Offshore Coordination Support Scheme (OCSS), the aim is to encourage offshore energy projects to coordinate resources to transmit electricity.

However, the group founder said while she supported the idea of pooling cables at sea, the electricity should instead be brought onshore at a brownfield site at the Isle of Grain in Kent.

She said: "Instead, National Grid will bring about vast damage to the ecology quite needlessly at Aldeburgh with its landfall at North Warren RSPB, carving through 10kms of countryside rich in biodiversity, to dump its converter boxes 26m high (Sea Link is the first of three planned for Saxmundham) next to 23 Grade II-listed homes and across prime farming land.

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"The connection to the grid will be at Friston and it will be the end of this rural oasis as we know it."

The campaigners will be meeting National Grid ESO representatives on January 9.

A National Grid ESO spokesperson said: “The Government’s Offshore Coordination Support Scheme results have now been published which now triggers the ESO’s East Anglia study on the impact any new coordination has on the needs of the transmission network and what reinforcements are needed.

"This study will evaluate a range of options, including offshore options. We will work with local MPs, local councils and community representatives in the next few months.

"Our study will set out different options, including showing how costs compare against projects in GB and internationally.

"The study will not make decisions and it will be up to the relevant developer of any reinforcements to decide which of these projects they will take forward through planning processes.”

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