Scottish Power Renewables has submitted plans for East Anglia-3, a new 1,200 megawatt (MW) wind farm to be located off the coast of Suffolk.
The East Anglia-3 development will require up to 172 wind turbines, and covers an area of 305km2 in the southern North Sea. Once completed, the wind farm could power the annual electricity demands of more than 850,000 homes.
The planning application will be considered by the National Infrastructure team within the Planning Inspectorate. If approved, it is anticipated that onshore construction could begin in 2021, with offshore work starting in 2022 and first power generation achieved in 2023.
Keith Anderson, Chief Executive, Scottish Power Renewables, said: “We were very pleased to hear Amber Rudd’s commitment to support the continued growth of offshore wind power.
“The more offshore wind capacity we have in the UK, the more secure our energy supplies will be. It already powers 3.5 million homes per year, and with wind around our coasts in plentiful supply, it has the potential to play an even more significant role.
“Our 102-turbine, 714MW East Anglia-1 project was successful in the last government auction with a price of £119/MWh, which will make it the best value offshore wind farm ever developed in the UK.
“But we want to see costs come down even further. Our entire industry wants to get to a place where subsidy is not required, and significant progress is being made to deliver this in the near future.
“The offshore wind industry in the UK now benefits from more powerful and more efficient turbines.
“We have better vessels, more experience of working offshore, a healthier supply chain, a growing engineering skills base, increased capability to export our products and expertise around the globe, as well as ever increasing investment in UK infrastructure. All of these factors mean that costs are reducing quickly, and large projects are achievable.”
East Anglia-3 could support up to 4,800 jobs in the UK during the construction phase, representing more than £400 million for the UK economy.