Onshore wind turbines to rival Humber Bridge in height as Immingham port application made

Port of Immingham and Grimsby, as seen from Grimsby Dock Tower, taken 2022
-Credit: (Image: Jon Corken)

Associated British Ports (ABP) plans for huge onshore wind turbines at Humber ports have taken further shape, as the first planning applications have been published.

A 149.9m wind turbine at Immingham port within North Lincolnshire Council area has been applied for, as has a 125m turbine in Hull. They are part of plans for five wind turbines over 120 metres tall, spread out across ABP's Humber ports, including one at Grimsby.

This is a revision on original plans, which included the possibility of four alone at Grimsby Docks. The scheme is part of attracting new businesses into the ports, said an ABP spokesperson, and electricity generated will directly feed into the port.

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The revised onshore wind turbines scheme now consists of:

  • Grimsby - one 125m to tip height turbine.

  • Immingham - Two turbines of 149.9m height to tip, one in North Lincolnshire Council area, the other in North East Lincolnshire.

  • Hull - two turbines, one in Hull City Council area of 125m to tip height, and the other in East Riding and at 149.9m to tip height.

The initial intention for four turbines at Grimsby Docks was revised to one by ABP after a detailed review of all aspects of the project. For height comparison, see the chart below - the Humber Bridge is slightly taller than the tallest proposed turbines, at 155.5m.

"ABP would like to install onshore wind at the ports to help existing businesses located there, and hopefully help attract new businesses," said the ABP spokesperson. "It will help control the cost of electricity, which for UK industrials is consistently amongst the highest when comparing with the EU27 using government’s own data, and has been very volatile. It will also directly help to decarbonise electricity supply at the port, which is increasingly a factor for existing and potential new customers."

"The electricity from the turbines would directly feed into the port electricity grid primarily for the benefit of the port; these are very different developments to greenfield projects feeding into a local grid without direct benefit for local industry." The proposed turbine sites are areas with minimal or low operational impact, chosen to preserve the opportunity to attract busines growth and jobs to the ports. A site layout plan indicates they are near the western section of the railway line to the port, that follows parallel to the A1173.

There will also be a fund to support community initiatives, linked to the level of electricity generated. "ABP intends there to be a community fund for each operational turbine of £5,000 per MW installed per year (circa £12,000/year for the smaller 125m turbines and £21,000/year for the larger 150m ones)." ABP currently envision administering meetings with local community representatives, including possibly councillors, to discuss applications and decide which should receive funding.

Immingham application

Consent is sought at Immingham for two 149.9m turbines, with the application to North Lincolnshire Council already live. Each would have a 35 year lifespan. "Each turbine is likely to have a generating capacity of up to 4.2MW, giving an indicative total installed capacity of about 8.4MW," a document states. However, this capacity may rise with technological improvements.

The turbines would begin electricity generation at three to four metres a second wind speed. They would also operate with a storm control feature, so the turbines could continue during windier weather. During extreme wind event speeds, the turbines would shut down when it reaches in excess of what they can operate at - typically a ten minute average of 25 metres per second, or gusts of 34 metres per second.

If approved, construction of the North Lincolnshire-side Immingham turbine is expected to take two to three months, subject to planning consent award and and construction contracts.

A whole array of documents accompany the wind turbine application, most concerned with assessment of landscape and visual effect. A submitted document concludes it would never be a prominent feature from the Lincolnshire Wolds, and will appear as part of the coastal, industrial landscape.

Significant impacts are expected visually for Immingham residents, particularly the northern side of the town. However, because the turbines are never overbearing or dominant and the port area's existing industrial landscape, it is not considered to breach residential visual amenity thresholds.