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Controversy Over Power Line Approval for Huge New Wind Farm

29 Sep 10:00 by Steve Walia

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The government has approved plans for new power lines that would connect a planned wind farm located off the east coast, but the local council is against the plans, describing them as 'disastrous'.

The Triton Knoll turbines were given planning permission three years ago, but the cabling work was delayed and later progressed through a separate planning application by National Grid. The work will see 35 miles of cables installed underground across Lincolnshire.

Statkraft and Innogy, the developers, will be seeking subsidy support to build Triton Knoll in next year's round of government auctions.

The development will see up to 200 new wind turbines being built offshore with a total capacity of 900MW and with around £3 billion of total lifetime investment, according to Innogy.

However, the onshore cabling's consent received heavy criticism from Lincolnshire council, which is Conservative-led. The council has been strongly opposed to the development and has refused to sell parts of its land to the project developers.

Councillor Colin Davie said that the planning decision had been taken without consulting with local groups and added that the development looked set to have a 'disastrous' effect on the local visitor economy and landscape. He added that local people would see no share of the much-touted economic benefits, despite subsidising the project's development through consumer energy bills.

However, a spokeswoman from Triton Knoll said that the development would help to support the regional economy in a lasting way, with over 800 jobs created each year during the build phase alone, plus an extra 220 long-term operational roles. It is also expected to bring c. £224 million of investment to the Humber, an area which is rich in wind energy resources and a particular target area for green energy developers.