Our Energy Infrastructure Policy and Strategic Engagement

Electricity generation and connection projects in Suffolk.

The delivery of Net Zero carbon emissions in the UK by 2050, is required to limit the future impacts of climate change, it will result in a succession of electricity generation and connection projects in Suffolk.

We want people to know what we’re working to achieve in order to;

  • Minimise and mitigate negative impacts on the environment and communities of Suffolk
  • Maximise the benefits to Suffolk’s economy and supply chains, employment opportunities, skills, and training provision

This is set out in detail in Suffolk County Council’s Energy Infrastructure Policy, that was approved by the County Council Cabinet on the 23 February 2021.

The Council, both alone, and in partnership with others, continues to engage and work with Government on the development of coordinated offshore transmission, to minimise the impacts on our communities. We have been lobbying for strategic electricity networks (PDF, 98KB) since 2011.

The Government is now undertaking an Offshore Transmission Network Review, to better coordinate and minimise the numbers of cables and substations, needed to connect offshore wind and Interconnector projects.

View the SCC and ESC letter of 22 December 2021 to BEIS and Ofgem (PDF, 247KB) in response to their consultation: Proposals for an Enduring Regime for coordination of transmission.

View the SCC and ESC letter (PDF, 298KB) to BEIS and Ofgem 24 September 2020 in response to their open letter of 24 August 2020 increasing the level of coordination in offshore electricity infrastructure.

View the SCC and ESC letter to BEIS and Ofgem (PDF, 270KB) in response to their consultation: proposals for a Future System Operator role.

View the SCC and Norfolk CC and New Anglia LEP letter in response to the Ofgem consultation:
on changes intended to bring about greater coordination in the development of offshore energy networks.

SCC ESC joint Response to National Grid ESO Offshore Coordination Project Consultation October 2020

Summary of this response

  • The consultation identifies clear benefits from the coordination of offshore connections, for both communities and the environment and for capital and operating costs

 The Council’s consider that:

  • substantive pathfinder projects before 2030, enabled by a flexible approach to regulation, will be essential.
  • Notwithstanding the benefits of coordinated offshore networks, a new settlement for communities, to ensure that they are adequately compensated for residual impacts, is essential.

The consequences of coordinated offshore connections, for the future reinforcement of the onshore grid, is of significant concern

Please view full consultation response (PDF, 345KB)

View the SCC and ESC letter (PDF, 157KB) to National Grid ESO, in response to the open letter of 27 September 2021 that provides an update on the Offshore Transmission Network Review.

Response from National Grid ESO (PDF, 130KB) including; “a list of projects in the East of England considered to potentially be in scope of the Early Opportunities Workstream.”

On 7 July 2022 a Joint statement from North Falls, Five Estuaries and National Grid: Commitment to exploring coordinated network designs in East Anglia was issued and SCC and ESC wrote jointly to the Energy Minister, Greg Hands on 27 July 2022 about its content and possible implications (PDF, 147KB). The Minister responded to the Council on 16 August 2022 (PDF, 98KB).

SCC & ESC letter to Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP 8 December 2020

Please view the letter of support (PDF, 139KB) for local MPs following an adjournment debate of 5 November 2020

Response (PDF, 166KB) from the Energy Minister Anne Marie Trevelyan.

On 17 December 2021, Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council and wrote to the BEIS Minister of State, Rt Hon Greg Hands MP (PDF, 199KB), to request a discussion regarding how it will be possible to achieve tangible outcomes from the Early Opportunities workstream of the Offshore Transmission Network Review (OTNR) and how the offer to communities could be improved.

Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council and wrote again to the Rt Hon Greg Hands MP on 3 February 2022 (PDF, 175KB). Reflecting on the meeting a setting out gain the key issues discussed with the Minister.

Offshore links as an alternative to pylon lines onshore

Suffolk County Council wrote to the BEIS Minister of State, Rt Hon Greg Hands MP (PDF, 143KB), on 23 May 2022, in support of MPs from across the region, calling for an offshore link, as an alternative to the proposed East Anglia GREEN pylon project between Norwich and Tilbury.

The Council received this response from the Minister of State (PDF, 100KB).

SCC has written to National Grid (PDF, 137KB), following the Westminster Hall Debate; New Pylons in East Anglia on 19 July 2022. The Council received the following response from NGET (PDF, 88KB).

Contracts for Difference and Community Benefits

Contracts for Difference (CfD): proposed amendments to the scheme 2020

The government ran a consultation on their Contracts for Difference process, which supports Low Carbon and Renewable energy Projects. The consultation covers not only economic development and skills, but also asked for views about the community benefits that should come from energy projects.

Please view our response.

Many of the suggestions made by the Council have been adopted in the subsequent scheme, to provide greater local content, and hold developers more effectively to account. 

Contracts for Difference (CfD): Allocation Round 4

The Council continues to call on Government to establish an effective and robust system of community benefits, covering all energy transmission and generation projects.

Joint written evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee - May 2020

Technological Innovations and Climate Change: Offshore Wind

The preparation of this joint evidence was led by SCC. It covers the natural environment, communities, transmission issues, climate change adaptation, economy, and skills.

Written evidence submitted by Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council

The Energy Security Strategy: Community benefits for communities hosting infrastructure

On the 28th March 2022 the Council wrote to the Secretary of State (PDF, 138KB), setting out a suggested approach to community benefits as part of the emerging Energy Security Strategy, the letter requests a comprehensive approach across a range of technologies, including transmission projects and sets out some options for consideration. The Council received a reply from BEIS (PDF, 54KB) on 22nd April 2022.

The energy National Policy Statements set out the government’s policy for the delivery of energy infrastructure and provide the legal framework for planning decisions. The Government is seeking views on the revised energy National Policy Statements that support decisions on major energy infrastructure as set out online here.

Suffolk County Council has responded to this consultation on 28 November 2021 (PDF, 430KB).

The Government are undertaking a comprehensive end-to-end review of the NSIP process and all its interactions, and wishes hear from those who engage with the NSIP regime, on what they see as the main issues affecting each principal stage of the process, and what potential solutions might be deployed to remedy these.

Suffolk County Council responded to this consultation on the 14 December 2021 (PDF, 325KB).

This consultation from Ofgem, summarises their initial findings of a review into Electricity Transmission Network Planning. It considers is how to efficiently plan and progress strategic investments, driven by changes in future energy demand.

Suffolk County Council responded to this consultation on the 16 December 2021 (PDF, 338KB). Ofgem published their “minded to” response to the consultation in July 2022 and Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council responded to it on 11th August 2022 (PDF, 141KB).

The Government has asked for views on its proposals to drive the decarbonisation of heat in homes that are off the gas grid, including:

  • an end to new fossil fuel heating installations in homes off the gas grid from 2026
  • a ‘heat pump first’ approach to replacement heating systems in homes off the gas grid from 2026
  • requiring high performing replacement heating systems where heat pumps cannot reasonably practicably be installed.

You can read Suffolk County Council's response online (PDF, 365KB).

Contact us

Contact Phil Watson - Strategic Energy Projects Manager