The National Grid has announced that its substation in Howick Cross Lane will be expanded and upgraded to store and distribute power generated by windfarms on the Lancashire coast.
>>>Click here to read more about windfarms in Lancashire
There are proposals for two windfarms in the Irish Sea - a 480 MW capacity wind tourbine scheme by Offshore Wind Limited to be constructed west of Blackpool and south west of Morecambe Bay, and a 1,500 MW scheme by a consortium of EnBW and BP, off the coast of Barrow-In-Furness, west of Morecambe Bay.
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How that power is taken onshore to Penwortham is still being considered - and is likely to go out to public consultation - but South Ribble MP Katherine Fletcher has had reassurances that cables or pylons will be designed so they do not disrupt the Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve or the tidal marsh environment.
>>>Expansion is already happening at the site to keep Preston’s lights on.
When meeting with National Grid representatives in Parliament this week, Mrs Fletcher was also told the plans will bring jobs and infrastructure to South Ribble.
The exact details of these have not been disclosed by National Grid.
Mrs Fletcher said: “I want to see South Ribble be part of the UK’s own power production, and the National Grid’s substation at Penwortham will put us on the map at the heart of the future of Britain’s electricity.
"With jobs, new infrastructure and, importantly for me, as a conservationist preserving our precious natural environment, this is great news for everyone in Penwortham and across South Ribble.”
The Lancashire proposals are part of National Grid's The Pathway to 2030 Holistic Network Design (HND), a joined-up approach aimed at delivering cheap, clean energy from offshore wind to where it's needed across Great Britain.
The HND facilitates the connection of 23GW wind, helping to deliver the Government’s ambition for 50GW connected offshore wind by 2030.
National Grid say: "This is a first step towards more centralised, strategic network planning that is critical for delivering affordable, clean and secure power, as we journey towards our net zero future."