Alex Burghart, Member of Parliament for Brentwood and Ongar, has welcomed a review to be undertaken by ESO, the Electricity System Operator, to consider “offshore routes” for electricity transmission in East Anglia.
Alex and his Parliamentary colleagues across Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk have campaigned for an offshore grid and are delighted that communities affected by new grid infrastructure will get the chance to see a comprehensive cost benefit analysis of offshore vs onshore options.
Alex said: “I recently held a meeting attended by almost 100 constituents in Ingatestone to hear their concerns about the proposal by National Grid to install a line of huge pylons from Norfolk to Tilbury. The overwhelming opposition to the proposals left me in no doubt National Grid needs to rethink its focus on pylons and overhead lines as the solution to grid capacity, and fully consider offshore options.
“This review by the ESO is a victory for people in Ingatestone, Hutton and Dunton who have campaigned to have their voices heard. Crucially this means that an offshore alternative to these unnecessary pylons will have to be considered. This is a major step forward but there is still a long way to go.“
The review will:
1. Identify alternative options that could address the capacity issue including “consideration of offshore routes”.
2. Assess both the benefits and costs of each option (where, to date, National Grid’s cursory consideration of offshore options has purely focused on cost)
3. ‘Benchmark’ costs of each proposal against other projects in Britain – important in light of the significant expenditure on the Eastern Link and other interconnector projects elsewhere in the UK
The review will follow the conclusion of the ‘Early Opportunities workstream’, looking at potential coordination of offshore wind schemes in East Anglia and is therefore expected to be published in the summer. The ESO has confirmed it will work with MPs and Councillors to ensure community engagement is possible, via public meetings and roundtables - likely in late spring/early summer. ENDS