The Project: Onshore

Onshore cable route

The route North Fall’s cables take over land and the site of the onshore substation will depend on the location of National Grid’s connection into the national transmission system. We are currently awaiting a decision from National Grid as to the location of the grid connection. When this decision is made (expected early 2022) then North Falls will be able to define a route for the onshore cables and a site for our onshore substation. However as North Essex is considered the likely location for our grid connection, we have started undertaking early surveys across a broad area of search that is known as the 'scoping area'.

Onshore scoping area

To progress the project while awaiting the National Grid decision on our grid connection point, the North Falls team has defined an area in North Essex within which the grid connection point is likely to be located. This is known as the onshore 'scoping area'.

This is the first stage in a long process and the actual footprint of any eventual development will be significantly smaller than this initial broad area of search.

The area was identified by filtering out broad constraints such as population centres and sites of importance for nature conservation, whilst keeping within a certain distance of existing National Grid infrastructure such as the 132kV line between Ardleigh Road and Little Clacton substations.

The subsequent onshore scoping area is approximately 150km2 and located within the Tendring District of Essex. It extends from the coast, between Clacton-on-Sea and Frinton-on-Sea, approximately 20 kilometres inland.

Our ongoing site selection activity will look within this broad onshore scoping area to identify specific locations for each elements of the onshore electrical infrastructure required for North Falls. Future consultations will present the outcome of this work and offer opportunities to input into the proposed locations.

Onshore details

While we do not have the grid connection location yet, we do know that the point where our offshore cables will reach land is likely to be between Clacton-on-Sea and Frinton-on-Sea – and that both the onshore cable and substation will be located within the scoping area described above.

We also know that any onshore cables will be buried underground to minimise visual and environmental impact. A temporary working corridor of up to 70m wide will be needed to install the underground cables along with additional areas for temporary construction compounds. While there will be temporary disruption during construction, once the cables have been installed the land will be restored to its former use. Where the cable route crosses features such as roads, watercourses and ecologically sensitive areas, the aim will be to go under them using horizontal directional drilling, as at the landfall, to avoid impacts.

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