23 miles of underground cables to bring windfarm power ashore

East Anglia ONE wind farm in now finished Picture; JULIAN CLAXTON/CHV

Plans have been submitted to form the East Anglian Hub which is estimated to be able to power 2.7 million homes. - Credit: JULIAN CLAXTON/CHV

Work looks set to start this year on a 23-mile underground cable project to bring ashore power for 1.2 million homes from a new windfarm off the Suffolk coast.

ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) received permission for the huge 1,400MW East Anglia THREE project - with 150-plus turbines off the coast - back in 2017.

Now the company is planning to build seven compounds - the first set to be at Paper Mill Lane, Bramford - for contractors working on the cable route, which will run from Bawdsey to bring the electricity to the Bramford national grid connection.

But there will be no need for fresh cable trenches as the project will use the same underground cable ducting created for the East Anglia ONE windfarm project.

The first planning application for one of the seven temporary compounds, where connections will be made as the cables are pulled through the existing ducting, has been submitted to Babergh and Mid Suffolk's planning department.

This would see the main compound build at Paper Mill Lane - to act as the designated storage and delivery facility and also the main administrative compound for the onshore cable works.

ScottishPower Renewables is celebrating the completion of East Anglia ONE wind farm in the North Sea

Work is set to begin on this phase of the project in June - Credit: JULIAN CLAXON/CHPV

The works are part of a series of projects, named East Anglia ONE North, TWO and THREE, that are planned to form the £6.5billion East Anglia Hub.

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Once the constructions are completed, which is projected to be 2026, it is estimated that the hub will be able to power a total of over 2.7 million homes.

Planning documents submitted by SPR state: "The construction works will be spread across a 37km corridor between the Suffolk coast at Bawdsey and the Converter Station at Bramford, passing the northern side of Ipswich. The cables will be pulled through pre-installed ducts laid during the onshore works for East Anglia ONE.

"EATL (East Anglia Three Limited) will require up to seven temporary construction compounds to aid in the construction of the proposed East Anglia THREE project." 

Five of these compounds are to be in the Ipswich area, with further facilities in Woodbridge and Martlesham.

Works on East Anglia THREE are expected to commence in June, followed by East Anglia North ONE and TWO in 2023. 

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