Scottish Power gets go-ahead for UK’s biggest offshore wind farm in England

scottishpower-renewablesA Scottish Power Renewables and Vattenfall joint project wind parc – the largest ever renewable development in England – has been granted planning permission by UK Department of Energy (DECC).

The East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm has the capacity to generate clean electricity for 820,000 homes, creating 1,800 jobs locally in East Anglia and bringing an estimated £500 million to the region’s economy during the lifetime of the project.

East Anglia One currently plans to install up to 240 wind turbines, meaning the wind farm would be significantly larger than the current biggest wind farm in the world, the London Array, which is also in the UK.

Across the UK, up to 2,700 jobs could be created in the 3-year construction phase and ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall (the state-owned Swedish national power corporation) 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 , potentially adding over £10m to the local economy on an annual basis.

Following a final investment decision, construction work could begin on East Anglia ONE in 2017, with generation starting in 2019. The 1,200MW project, consisting of up to 240 turbines, will cover an area of 300km2 off the coast of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Keith Anderson, Chief Executive, 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”

Gunnar Groebler, head of Vattenfall’s Continental/UK renewables division, said: “The UK is a world leader in offshore wind and if it is to maintain that position it must continue reducing costs if the sector is to have a long term future. 

“The investment in competitive UK and regional supply chains is essential to cost reduction in the sector but that investment will only be made if there is a pipeline of projects. Therefore the consent of a scheme like East Anglia ONE – which should be warmly welcomed by everyone – will boost business confidence and help secure more affordable, more reliable and greener power in the UK electricity mix.”

 The full East Anglia ONE project could include:

  • Offshore wind turbines and foundations (up to 240 wind turbines to provide an installed capacity of 1,200MW, figure subject to type and size of turbine)
  • Up to three offshore collector stations and up to two offshore converter stations and their foundations to collect the electricity from the turbines and transform it to a form suitable for transfer to shore.
  • Up to four seabed export cables, each around 73km in length, to transfer the electricity to shore.
  • A landfall site with onshore transition pits to connect the offshore and onshore cables.
  • Up to four onshore underground cables, each of around 37km in length, to transfer the electricity from landfall to an onshore converter station.
  • Up to eight cable ducts for two future East Anglia projects to connect into Bramford Substation.  This could limit the impact of future construction operations as cables for these future projects would be pulled through the pre-laid ducts
  • An onshore converter station adjacent to the existing substation at Bramford, Suffolk, to connect the offshore windfarm to the National Grid.“East Anglia ONE is the first of six projects within the same zone with a combined capacity of up to 7.2 gigawatts, which is enough to power more than 4.6 million British homes.”

Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive, Renewable UK, commented: “This announcement marks the start of what is set to be one of the world’s major green energy infrastructure developments.

“East Anglia ONE is the first of six projects within the same zone with a combined capacity of up to 7.2 gigawatts, which is enough to power more than 4.6 million British homes.”

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed