What is this study?

This study assesses different ways to transfer electricity once it’s landed from certain offshore windfarms off the coast of East Anglia to where it’s needed. We have used the same metrics as set out within the Holistic Network Design, which includes:   

  • cost to consumers;  
  • deliverability and operability;  
  • impact on the environment and  
  • impact on local communities. 

The study began on the 11 December 2023 and we have published results on 12 March 2024. Alongside the report itself, we have published independent reports which have supported our assessment by DNV and Jacobs.

Please contact: [email protected] for further information. 

Download the East Anglia Network Study Report

Why have we conducted this study?

Certain offshore wind farms off the coast of East Anglia are voluntarily considering alternative locations to connect to the transmission network as part of a government facilitated review.  

As confirmed by the Government on 5 December 2023, the outcome of the first exploratory stage of this coordination has had a proposal put forward to connect two offshore wind farms (North Falls offshore wind farm and Five Estuaries offshore wind farms) into the middle of Sealink, a new 2GW HVDC link from Friston to Richborough in development by National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET). 

The windfarm developers and NGET will need to continue exploring the feasibility of the proposed coordination over 2024. This includes more detailed technical and commercial assessments, and consideration of any impacts elsewhere to connections or the system.   

This may change the underlying needs case for some planned onshore transmission reinforcements in East Anglia.  

What is in the scope of the study?

The ESO have holistically assessed ten network configuration options that transfer power across and around the region. 

The holistic needs case (utilising the same metrics as the Holistic Network Design) involves analysing various onshore and offshore network infrastructure options against a range of sensitivities and benchmarking these against other similar projects. 

How will this study be used?

The final report will be considered by the Transmission Owner – NGET – as part of their ongoing development of the Norwich to Tilbury circuit route ahead of the statutory consultation scheduled for 2024.  

We expect the UK Government and relevant developers to soon decide upon their progression to the next stage of their voluntary offshore coordination. We hope that this study provides all stakeholders with a range of options that could meet the network capacity needs of the region should offshore coordination progress.