The project is to be developed by East Anglia ONE Offshore Wind, a joint venture between ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall. It will be the largest renewable energy project ever to receive planning consent in England and Wales. It will also be the first in England and Wales to be approved from the Crown Estate’s Round Three Process.
The development will consist of up to 240 wind turbines to be installed across an area of 300 square kilometres in the southern North Sea. It could generate enough power to supply around 820,000 homes in the UK and is anticipated to be the first of six potential projects in the East Anglia Zone. The project could also support up to 2,700 jobs across the UK during the construction phase, representing more than £170 million to the economy for each year of construction. More than 1,600 jobs could be created in the East Anglia region alone.
Detailed negotiations will now take place to determine the ports that could help support the project. Following a final investment decision, it is anticipated that onshore construction could begin in 2017, with offshore work beginning in 2018 and first power generation in 2019.
ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall expect up to 170 engineers and technicians will be required for operations and maintenance once the project is complete. These will be full time jobs lasting more than twenty years and adding over £10 million per year to the local economy. In total, for the three years of construction and twenty years of operation, the region's economy could be boosted by £500m and see nearly 1,800 jobs supported or secured.
“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” said Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables. “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.”
Gunnar Groebler, head of Vattenfall’s Continental/UK renewables division, added that the consent of a scheme like East Anglia ONE will boost business confidence and help secure more affordable, more reliable and greener power in the UK electricity mix.
The full project could include up to three offshore collector stations and up to two offshore converter stations and their foundations, in addition to the 240 wind turbines. Up to four seabed export cables, of around 73 kilometres in length, will be needed to transfer the electricity to shore and up to four onshore underground cables to carry the electricity to a converter station which will then connect to the National Grid. A landfall site with onshore transition pits to connect the offshore and onshore cables will also be required and up to eight cable ducts for two future East Anglia projects to connect into Bramford Substation.
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