Concern over imminent decision on wind farms and sub-station

Concerns have been raised about the wind farms and sub-station through Friston

Concerns have been raised about the wind farms and sub-station through Friston - Credit: JULIAN CLAXTON/CHV

A decision is expected soon on whether to approve two controversial wind farms opposed by campaigners, who fear the impact of new sub-stations on the Suffolk coast. 

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will consider whether to give the go-ahead for East Anglia One North and East Anglia Two off the Suffolk coast, which will include the construction of two eight-acre sub-stations at Friston by Scottish Power. 

However, campaigners are opposed to the new sub-stations and want an electricity platform to be created offshore to receive power generated by the wind farms and then deliver it by cable to the areas where it is needed. 

They are considering taking legal action if the plans are approved. 

Fiona Gilmore, founder of Suffolk Energy Action Solutions (SEAS), which opposes the sub-stations, said people who were concerned were often accused of ‘nimbyism’ but the concept of using onshore sub-stations was "old fashioned". 

She said other countries, most notably in Scandinavia and the Netherlands, were using offshore hubs to receive cables from the wind farms and then send the power to where it was needed. 

The sub-stations themselves would not generate any local jobs either, she added, although she still wanted the wind farms on their own to be approved. 

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“Lots of people are feeling very concerned that these plans are being submitted. It is the wrong place in the wrong environment.

“These criticisms of people being ‘nimby.’ When you look at it, we are proud of having renewables at sea. We are very proud of it, but we believe that there are better solutions for the sub-stations, not just for habitats and the environment, but also for the local economy because there are no meaningful jobs with this project,” Mrs Gilmore said. 

She wanted Lowestoft to be the main hub for wind farm power, with Suffolk’s heritage coast being preserved for tourism, nature and food production amid fears the cabling could damage and disrupt the countryside. 

The wind farms could generate 1,600Mw of electricity – enough to power 1.2 million homes. 

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said a decision was expected "in due course."