At National Grid Ventures (NGV), we have launched a community consultation to seek local views on proposals for Nautilus Interconnector, close to Leiston in East Suffolk. This new multi-purpose interconnector (MPI) would enable the connection of offshore wind generation between the UK and Belgium, powering up to 1.4 million UK homes.
Nautilus could connect up to 1.4 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind to each country through subsea electricity cables which would travel between the two countries whilst connecting to offshore wind farm/s at sea. By combining offshore wind generation with interconnector capacity between the UK and Belgium, Nautilus would significantly reduce the amount of infrastructure and disruption required in both the marine and onshore environment. With this change in technology, we would also be able to reduce the impact on the affected communities and environment, as well as support the UK to achieve its climate and energy targets. We are already working closely with other developers in the area in order to coordinate activities and minimise the impacts on the local communities. We believe that through improved coordination, the UK government can achieve and support the co-existence of renewable energy with coastal communities.
Read more about the project by visiting our virtual exhibition – or meet us in person at one of the community consultation events which are detailed below.
MPIs are part of National Grid’s wider vision for the next generation of interconnectors. An MPI will connect offshore wind farms to an offshore converter station, potentially linking clusters of windfarms into a single connection point, before transporting this electricity to the transmission systems of two European countries through a sub-sea electricity cable called an interconnector. This would then connect to an onshore converter station at each end of the connection to transform high voltage direct current (HVDC) into high voltage alternating current (HVAC) so that the energy can be fed into the transmission network of each country.
How to explore the virtual exhibition:
As an MPI Nautilus will help to:
Support the UK to achieve its 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and net zero by 2050 climate targets.
Reduce impacts on coastal communities and the environment by avoiding the need for every project to have its own separate connection infrastructure.
Support the transition towards a cleaner energy system by providing 2.8 GW of flexible capacity between the GB and Belgian networks.
Increase security of supply by ensuring cleaner energy flows from where it is being generated to where it is needed most.
Promote more affordable energy bills in the UK by providing access to the lowest priced energy available between GB and Belgium.
Community drop-in sessions
We are planning to hold public events at different locations across our consultation area. These events will complement our online consultation process and be an opportunity for you to view our plans, discuss them with members of the project team, and provide feedback on them in person.
Details of the local information events:
Community webinar events:
We will also be holding community webinar events during our consultation period. They will be available to join by video call or by phone, for an opportunity to hear more from the project team and ask any questions you may have. Details of how to join the webinars are available via the joining instructions in our Document Library.
Once you have had a look at our materials, we want to hear your views. To have your say on our proposals, please fill out the online feedback form below.
As well as our online feedback form you can provide your views in the following ways:
Read downloadable versions of all our consultation materials below. For the most accessible experience of the exhibition, you can download the boards in an accessible PDF format from the documents below (suitable for screen readers).
Nautilus Interconnector has been classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) in the UK. As part of the NSIP process, the project has a live page on the Planning Inspectorate's website.
Nautilus Interconnector is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The development will be required to submit an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) where a final decision whether to grant consent will be made by the Secretary of State for BEIS.
The DCO regime requires a robust Environmental Impact Assessment and pre-application consultation process prior to any application being submitted. The DCO consent process will provide a single, unified consenting process with clear and fixed timescales.
Extensive environmental surveys and studies will be undertaken for Nautilus Interconnector as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA process) and a range of statutory consultees and stakeholders will be consulted with. As part of this process, a Scoping Report, a Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) and an Environmental Statement (ES) will be produced.
A Scoping Report will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. This will present the proposals for the Nautilus Interconnector and will describe how any potential impacts to the existing environment will be assessed. The feedback received on this document from the local planning authorities and statutory consultees will result in a Scoping Opinion from the Planning Inspectorate, which will be made publicly available.
The PEIR will build upon the findings from the earlier scoping documents, as well as the feedback received through consultation. It will incorporate the findings of the surveys and environmental assessments that have been carried out. This will enable consultees to develop an informed view of the potential impacts Nautilus may have on the local environment.
The ES will advance the content of the PEIR and will incorporate the responses from the consultation and the results of the surveys undertaken. It will also describe any changes to the project and any mitigation measures proposed to be implemented. The ES will form part of the DCO application for submission.
Copies of these reports will be made available during the public consultation. Options and ideas will be presented to consultees and environmental authorities as the proposals develop to understand the best approach for the final proposals.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to find out more information about Nautilus Interconnector.
You can contact a member of our Community Relations Team to find out more by using the details below.
Freephone: 08081 699 822
Freepost: FREEPOST NAUTILUS INTERCONNECTOR
Email: [email protected]