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‘Good Neighbours’ deal with Network Rail

13 December 2012

Railway track near to coast

The Crown Estate and Network Rail have announced the agreement of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Two of the largest land owners in the UK have today signed an agreement which will clarify the process for installing cable crossings that connect marine renewable projects to the national grid across the Network Rail estate. This will be critical to the effective delivery of The Crown Estate's world leading offshore renewable energy programme.

The Crown Estate and Network Rail have announced the agreement of a MOU that will help to efficiently manage coastal defences, asset ownership and access issues. It will also clarify the granting of rights for cable crossings for offshore energy projects to cross Network Rail land.

The UK currently has over 700 offshore wind turbines operating with another 500 currently under construction, and significantly more planned. All have to be connected to the national grid and given the linear nature of the Network Rail estate, the number of cables that will need to cross its land to link these turbines to the network is likely to increase significantly over the coming years.

The MOU also covers other issues of mutual interest such as the management of coastal defences protecting railways that are on The Crown Estate land. While not legally binding, the MOU will be managed by monthly meetings between the two parties.

Chief Executive Alison Nimmo said: "We are very pleased to sign an MOU with Network Rail, which will see us collaborate closely in the future to enable more rapid delivery offshore wind grid connections. This is another example of The Crown Estate helping the low carbon energy sector to ensure the UK remains one of the most attractive places to invest in offshore renewable energy."

David Biggs, Network Rail's Director of Property, said: "We are delighted to sign this MOU with The Crown Estate which builds on our long established relationship. By granting rights for cables to cross our land it demonstrates our support towards the development of offshore wind farms which will contribute towards the UK's ambitious targets for developing renewable energy. This is another example of Network Rail's commitment to work in partnership with neighbours, develop initiatives in support of building a better railway, and driving economic growth."

Memorandum of understanding with Network Rail (PDF, 4.3 MB)

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