Notes of consultation by Eneco on Proposed Navitus Bay wind

Southampton Water Sailing Association News
Royal Yachting Association News.

Notes of consultation by Eneco on Proposed Navitus Bay wind

Postby john bigg » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:23 am

Notes of consultation by Eneco on Proposed Navitus Bay wind farm

I attended the meeting at the RYS on Monday 23 April 2012 about the proposed Navitus wind farm.

There were 3 presenters from Eneco, the company doing the research on traffic plus a representative from the Crown Estates. The first gave a publicity blurb about Eneco and then he passed over to the man in charge of assessing the traffic through the area. They have done a full year’s survey of AIS. The question was raised that the MCA's AIS record showed a much higher density of traffic. They had no real answer to this except that their aerial is somewhat blanketed. As a large number of yachts have no transmitting AIS (95% is the RYA estimate) they are doing a radar survey to complement the AIS. Two weeks were done in February and another two weeks are proposed in July/August. It was pointed out by several people that this was inadequate to which the answer was that this was what they were required to do. Either they have no conception of the quantity of traffic or they have a very good idea and therefore are trying to minimise the amount they have to show in their assessment. The equipment to be used was described as “ship’s radar” at which it was pointed out that the Ouzo was not detected by a commercial ship’s (ferry’s) radar. This presenter also described the lighting of the farm of between 150 and 300 windmills depending on size and a third presenter sketched out the timetable of events- building from 2016 and operational by 2020. The most immediate event is that a large metrological mast will be erected near (but not quite in) the proposed area this summer.

There was then a question and answer session. Someone asked about the cable carrying the electricity ashore, going over Christchurch ledge. Would the fact that they had to cover it to protect it reduce the depth? The Crown estate man answered this as he used to work for a firm that did this for the Thames array. He did so in very general terms and talked about burying it in silt etc at which point the questioner pointed out that Christchurch Ledge was not silt. There was a discussion as to whether the reduction in depth would be 1’ or 1m. Several times the difference between our area and the mud flats of the Thames Estuary was pointed out to the presenters. It was also said that part of the Thames Estuary cable is to be buoyed due to a 1m reduction in depth and this was confirmed the next day by an article on the RYA web site which appears to contradict the “no change” in sand/silt response. ... 2-cruising

Another gentleman asked about the effect on wind flow. The Crown Estate man who "studied Aeronautical engineering" also answered this but it became very apparent that he had no understanding of why the question was being asked or its relevance to sailing boats.

I asked how much of an exclusion zone would cause loss of navigational space during construction and told that it would be 500m around construction vessels – only two used for the Thames array. Note the towers would be 0.7 – 1km apart.

Someone pointed out that yachts tack so these nice straight AIS tracks they were showing us were not true.

The question of SAR access was also raised. We were assured that it would be no problem but again the answer was more pointed towards commercial (fast cat from Poole) than recreational users.

This meeting at the RYS was attended by several people who were well briefed. One quoted the government advice that such installations should be 12 miles from land except in exceptional circumstances. The Crown Estates representative replied that they had satisfied themselves that all was fine with the location. The size of the carbon foot print was also raised and we were told that the build would be offset in two years. No mention was made of decommissioning after 20 years. The web site that makes interesting points was referred to.

At the end of the meeting the Commodore of the RYS asked for there to be a minuted show of hands on the statement that the proposed wind farm would be a hazard to navigation. Agreement was unanimous.

I am told that the presentation at the RAFYC on the following Saturday took the line that it was government policy, they had the licence, therefore all was well and it was happening. The Eneco web site is

john bigg

Return to SWSA and RYA

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest