Environmental consultant appointed to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment of onshore grid connection

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The Neart na Gaoithe wind farm developer, Mainstream Renewable Power, has recently appointed Land Use Consultants (LUC) to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of proposals to connect the offshore wind farm to the electricity grid.

LUC will work closely with Mainstream and Emu Ltd – a specialist marine consultancy undertaking the EIA of the offshore elements of the proposed wind farm.

The grid connection point has been allocated at Crystal Rig II onshore wind farm in East Lothian by National Grid.  In order to connect at that location, it is anticipated that a cable would come onshore close to Torness Power Station.  The onshore cable would be buried along its entire length to minimise landscape and visual impacts and the development team are currently working on a potential route.

The purpose of the EIA is to ensure that the potential environmental impacts of the onshore works are identified, assessed, managed and reduced to acceptable levels before consent is given.  The first stage of the EIA is ‘scoping’ which is currently underway.  Scoping focuses the EIA on those issues/effects which require the most thorough attention and enables discussion on the most appropriate methods for identifying and assessing these effects.

A Scoping Report will be prepared which will set out the anticipated environmental effects of the proposed onshore works and the assessment process by which these effects will be evaluated.  A ‘scoping opinion’ will be sought from the Scottish Government as the relevant determining authority in order to agree on these proposals.  The Scoping Reports can be read here.