UK government approves giant 1200MW East Anglia offshore wind farm
21 June 2014
The UK government has given the green light to the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm off the coast of Suffolk, which has the potential to become the biggest wind farm in the world.
East Anglia ONE plans to install up to 240 wind turbines across an area of 300sq.km. in the southern North Sea, meaning the project would be significantly larger than the current biggest wind farm in the world, the London Array.
Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey said East Anglia and the rest of the UK have “a lot to gain” from the development. “The project has the potential to inject millions of pounds into the local and national economies, and support thousands of green jobs.
“Making the most of Britain’s home grown energy is crucial in creating job and business opportunities, getting the best deal for customers and reducing our reliance on foreign imports.”
Commenting on the decision, Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “This is the largest renewable energy project ever to receive planning consent in England and Wales, and it is a significant achievement to see our plans approved, and an important step forward towards a final investment decision. Our project team has spent more than three years planning the details of this project, and consulting widely with communities and stakeholders across the East Anglia region.
“We will now take forward our discussions with the supply chain as we work towards unlocking the significant economic potential of the project. East Anglia ONE could support thousands of skilled jobs in construction and operation, and make a positive impact on the local and national economy for decades to come.”
It is anticipated that onshore construction could begin in 2017, with offshore work starting in 2018 and first power generation achieved in 2019. Once built, it could generate enough electricity to power approximately 820,000 homes.
The 1200MW wind farm will be developed by East Anglia Offshore Wind, a 50:50 joint venture between ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall.
ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall expect that up to 170 engineers and technicians would be required to provide operations and maintenance support for the project once completed. These jobs could be required for more than 20 years.
During the planning process alone, more than £15m of contracts have been awarded to local companies working on the project and a £17m contract was awarded to Wood Group of Aberdeen for the construction and installation of weather monitoring masts.
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