At an early stage in the process, we will seek to enter into voluntary agreements with all affected parties who have been identified along the route corridor. The voluntary agreements are negotiated between the Landowner (or their agent) and DONG Energy's land agent. The agreement takes the form of an Option Agreement for a Cable Easement or right of way, and allows DONG Energy to call for a long term right to lay a cable or use an access route within a certain time period, usually up to 10 years. It is also necessary to acquire rights for electricity substations to connect the generated electricity to the National Grid; these can be by way of an option for a lease or purchase of the freehold.
Various surveys will be carried out before construction commences. Typical surveys include ecological surveys, archaeological surveys and borehole surveys. Such surveys are designed to minimise disturbance.
The non-technical summary of the Environmental Statement for the Hornsea Project One scheme can be found here.
Surveys will be agreed with the relevant council and regulatory/advisory bodies, and as much notice as possible will be given to relevant landowners. Surveys will be carried out with full Landowner consultation to try and minimise any impact the survey may have on the land.
To facilitate the construction of underground high voltage electricity cables, a temporary working width is required. The working width for Hornsea Project One underground cables will be up to 40 metres. The width will be present during the length of the construction period, with suitable temporary fencing if required, with that temporary fencing removed once the area has been re-instated to the Landowner's full satisfaction.
A careful and measured approach is taken to Land Drainage. Landowners are fully consulted and existing drainage schemes are examined before construction begins. Insofar as reasonably possible, existing drainage schemes will be avoided by the construction, but if they cannot be avoided, they will be re-instated to a standard that existed prior to their disturbance to help minimise the impact on continuing farming operations post-construction. A hydrogeological, hydrological and flood risk assessment has been undertaken as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment along the onshore cable route.
Access & Maintenance
Access to the underground cables will need to be available in the case of a need to repair, renew or replace the existing infrastructure. In most cases, access to the cables post-construction will only be required when absolutely necessary. Cable marker posts will be placed along the cable route to identify the location of the cable, and any markers will be positioned to minimise any interference with future agricultural operations, for example, in hedgerows or along field boundaries and adjacent to water courses, highways and footpaths. At locations where sections of cables are joined, manhole covers will be installed for ease of maintenance.