Scottish Power Renewables has signed a £25 million deal with the Port of Lowestoft to use the harbour as its construction management base and also as the main operations and maintenance hub for the anticipated 30-year lifespan of the East Anglia-1 windfarm.
Initial investment in the port will be used to establish the new operations facility and to carry out upgrades and modifications to the port and surrounding harbour area.
Approximately 100 people will be employed full-time at the port (pictured) when East Anglia-1 is completed, with thousands of contractors and supply chain operators working from the site every year and contributing substantially to the local economy.
Work will begin in 2016, and modifications will include dredging and construction of new pontoon facilities, site preparation and construction of onshore buildings including offices, warehouses, workshops and storage areas. A new state-of-the-art operations and maintenance control building will be constructed between 2018 and 2020.
The announcement comes just 24 hours after Scottish Power submitted plans for its East Anglia-3 project,, 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 windfarm could power the annual electricity demands of more than 850,000 homes.
Jonathan Cole, Managing Director of Offshore Wind at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “This agreement will help to make East Anglia the leading destination for investment and job creation in the UK’s offshore wind power industry.
“A new vision document published this week highlighted the huge potential of offshore wind power to contribute sustainable, cost-effective electricity for the UK, as well as helping the economy to grow. What happens in East Anglia will be fundamentally important in delivering this vision. Off the coast of Norfolk and Suffolk billions of pounds of investments are being made, and tens of thousands of job opportunities are being created.”
The full East Anglia-3 project will include:
- Offshore wind turbines and foundations, up to 172 wind turbines to provide an installed capacity of 1,200MW
- Up to 6 offshore electrical platforms and their foundations to collect the electricity from the turbines and transform it to a form suitable for transfer to shore.
- Up to 4 seabed export cables, totalling around 664km in length, to transfer the electricity to shore.
- A landfall site with onshore transition pits to connect the offshore and onshore cables.
- Up to 12 onshore underground cables, each of around 37km in length, using the consented East Anglia-1 cable route to transfer the electricity from landfall to an onshore converter station/substation at Bramford to connect to the National Grid.