Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm will be located across a 15 to 22 kilometres (km) range to the east of the Angus coastline in Scotland. It has a grid connection agreement for 1,050 MW. Transmission infrastructure will connect the Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm to the National Electricity Transmission System (NETS) and will constitute the Onshore Transmission Works (OnTW) and Offshore Transmission Works (OfTW). Collectively the Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm, OnTW and OfTW are referred to as the Project.
In JulyMay 20132 Inch Cape Offshore Ltd (ICOL) made applications under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 to Scottish Ministers (through Marine Scotland) to construct and operate the Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm. In addition applications for Marine Licences under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 were made for the Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm and OfTW (http://www.inchcapewind.com/publications/environmental-statement/introduction).
ICOL is now making an application under the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (as amended) to East Lothian Council (ELC) for Planning Permission in Principle (PPP) for the OnTW associated with the Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm. The Energy Act 2004 requires that an Offshore Transmission Operator (OfTO) will own and operate the required transmission infrastructure (Great Britain Parliament, 2004). The OfTO must be a separate entity to the offshore wind farm operator. The transmission infrastructure will include the OfTW and the OnTW. It is anticipated that ICOL, as well as being responsible for consent applications for the transmission infrastructure will, following the ‘Generator Build’ model , also construct the OfTW and OnTW before ownership is transferred to an independent third party to operate. An OfTO will be appointed through a tendering process managed by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem).
The purpose of this Non Technical Summary (NTS) is to summarise the findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and other key information presented in the Environmental Statement (ES) for the Project. In this NTS, reference is made to the OnTW which is all proposed works within the Application Site (the Red Line Planning boundary), typically including the Onshore Substation, cables transition pits, cable jointing pits, underground electricity transmission cables connecting the Offshore Export Cables to the Onshore Substation and further underground cables required to facilitate connection to the national grid. This includes all permanent and temporary works required.
Impacts of the Inch Cape Offshore Wind Farm and OfTW have been considered, where required, in the ES to ensure that cumulative effects of the whole Project are considered. Assessment of the cumulative impacts which could occur from the Project and other relevant projects have also been assessed. An application for matters specified in conditions or a stand alone detailed planning application could be submitted to ELC once the details of the OnTW and grid connection have been further developed. The final detailed design for the OnTW will be subject to a further approval process should PPP be granted.