Public Consultation

Project Information

The NorthConnect scheme was, in 2013, designated as a “Project of Common Interest” or PCI within the legal framework of the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA), of which Norway is also a signatory state.                            

This means that NorthConnect is seen as a very important project for achieving Europe’s energy market and climate change targets.  As a result it has been included in Brussels’ draft 2014 Ten Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP) for European electricity projects, and is also now being assessed for the 2015 list of PCI projects.

PCI / TYNDP Project Details

Project name:

NorthConnect :  Norway - Great Britain

EU Identifiers:

Project Code:                       190

Investment Code:             1033

Project description:

A 650 km long subsea interconnector between Norway and Scotland is planned to be realized in 2021. The main driver for the project is to integrate the hydro-based Norwegian system with the thermal / nuclear / wind-based British system. The interconnector will improve security of supply both in Norway in dry years, and in Great Britain in periods with negative power balance (low wind, low solar, high demand, etc.). Additionally, the interconnector will be positive for European market integration, for facilitating renewable energy and also for preparing for a power system with lower CO2-emissions. The interconnector is planned to be a 500 kV 1400 MW HVDC subsea interconnector between western Norway and eastern Scotland as part of the Northern Seas Offshore Grid corridor.

Project promoter:

NorthConnect KS

Serviceboks 603, Lundsiden

4606 Kristiansand, NORWAY

 

Details of the public consultations which are taking place within the cross-border member state countries involved in NorthConnect are given below.

 

United Kingdom

A scoping report was submitted to Aberdeenshire Council for the Interconnector Converter Station and High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) cable route from the converter station to the Peterhead Substation in June 2014.

Converter Station and AC Line Scoping Report

Aberdeenshire Council provided a response including the opinion of the statutory consultees.

Aberdeenshire Council scoping response

In October 2014 a flier and questionnaire were circulated to residents in the immediate vicinity of the proposed infrastructure and the local villages of Boddam and Longhaven.  Both documents were also made available on the project website.

http://northconnect.no/2014/10/24/consultation-on-the-scottish-converter-station-gets-started

To date there have been 51 responses to the questionnaire.

Local residents were invited, by way of the flier and an advert in the Buchan Observer to attend a workshop.  The aesthetic workshop was held on the 4th of November 2014 in the Buchan Braes Hotel.  The aim of the aesthetics workshop was to gain an understanding of the local stakeholders views in terms of:

·       Building Aesthetics

·       Surrounding landscape uses.

·       Surrounding landscape aesthetics.

 

The questionnaire responses and the output of the workshop have informed the landscape and building design.

The Proposal of Application Notice supported by a Public and Stakeholder Consultation Plan was submitted to Aberdeenshire Council and Buchan Community Council on the 28th of November 2014.  The Plan details the consultation planned for the remainder of the project.

Download the November 2014 PAN here

Download the November 2014 Public & Stakeholder Consultation Plan here

The main consultation event will be a public exhibition which is planned for the 26th of February 2014 between 2pm and 8pm in the Buchan Braes Hotel.  This will be advertised in the Buchan Observer, posters and fliers delivered to local residents.

A Pre-Application Consultation Report will be produced along with an Environmental Statement and submitted as supporting documents to the planning application in February 2015.

 

Norway

NorthConnect delivered a scoping report to Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) on the 16th February 2011, for the interconnector between Scotland and Norway.  The scoping report was sent out for public consultation by NVE on the 5th April 2011.

Download the 2011 Scoping Report here

On the basis of feedback from the public consultation NVE approved NorthConnect’s EIA programme on the 26th September 2011.  NorthConnect then entered into the process of developing the EIA and license application, holding several meetings with the Eidfjord and Samnanger municipalities, the Hordaland County and the Hordaland municipality.

Public consultation meetings were held in Eidfjord 25th September 2012, and in Samnanger 26th September 2012.  NorthConnect then applied for the License from NVE on 10th of January 2013, but NVE will need to wait for the government to overturn the ban on merchant cables in Norway’s Energy legislation, before they begin to handle the application.

Download the scope of work EIA Norway (Norwegian)

Download the 2013 Norwegian EIA here

Download the 2013 Licence Application here

From September 2013 to October 2014, NorthConnect has had meetings with the Eidfjord Municipality executive board, in relation to securing a land option for the Norwegian converter station at Simadalen, near to the town of Eidfjord.

The planned public consultation process for the future will include meetings with local stakeholders which may be affected by NorthConnect’s preferred converter station location in Simadalen, and particularly stakeholders affected by the underwater cable route through Hardangerfjorden.

 

When NVE begin to handle the License application, the EIA will be sent out by NVE for a public hearing.  As a part of this public consultation process, NorthConnect will hold further public meetings in Eidfjord and Samnanger.  A further adjustment to the EIA will then be undertaken to take account of new feedback, and this will be sent out again by NVE for public consultation before they present their recommendations to the Norwegian Oil and Energy Ministry (MOPE), who will decide if a License should be granted.  A licence decision can be appealed to MOPE if desired which would enter into a further appeal process.