DETAILS of the recently-approved £1.3billion Rampion offshore wind farm were exhibited at a six-hour public drop-in session.
E.ON employees including Chris Tomlinson, E.ON development manager, and Richard Carpenter, E.ON onshore cable package manager, were on-hand to chat with residents inside Lancing Parish Hall in South Street, Lancing, on Tuesday.
Reaction to the 116-turbine windfarm, which once completed will produce enough energy to power 290,000 homes – four out of every ten in Sussex, was generally positive.
Jenny Barnes, 67, of Ophir Road, Worthing, said: “They seem to be very thorough, which one would hope and expect. I’m very much for the project, it has to be said.
“I don’t particularly relish the idea of being able to see objects like that out in the channel, I like my sea views, but then you see trawling rigs and ships going past and it’s a busy commercial water way.
“The other bit of me says it’s very exciting and very necessary. Environmentally we just have to do it. I think it will be an interesting project.”
She said she hopes E.ON will run trips to see the turbines, which will be located 13km out to sea, because the process was ‘fascinating’. “There’s going to be disruption, but I think enterprises of this sort are so important and you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. It’s hideously expensive so I hope it’s worth it for them.”
Meanwhile, Neil Bunker, 51, of Thalassa Road, Worthing, said: “We have got to change our views on ways of getting energy, haven’t we? We can’t always do nuclear.
“They are not that much of an eyesore. I think it will be good.”
Construction work will take place in 12 stages with work due to begin on the project’s onshore substation in Twineham later this month. Route trenching work will then be carried out from south to north beginning in July.
The twelve stages are made up of Brooklands to the north of the railway line, north of the railway line to Upper Brighton Road, Lamleys Lane and A27 horizontal directional drilling (HDD) exit pit, Five Ways public rights of way crossing and Titch Hill, Coombes Road and River Adur HDD, Beeding Hill, Tottington Mount and South Downs Way, Edburton Road, Three Streams crossins and Horn Lane, Woodmancote, B2116 and A281, Bob Lane and Herring Stream, and the Twineham substation.
Construction of the cable route will be done in one km sections and activity will be kept to a minimum in the ‘key winter months’.
Offshore work will not begin until early 2016 as onshore work must be completed by the time the first turbine is installed late next year. The project is due to be completed in early 2018.
Mr Tomlinson said: “The aim is to raise awareness of our construction activity in advance.
“My view is the majority are supportive. There have been concerns but with any major projects there are concerns. I have worked with this project for five years and I really feel we have had a lot of positivity and enthusiasm throughout Sussex.
“This is an advanced technology that’s proven and delivers on a wide scale now.”
For more information, visit www.eonenergy.com
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