East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm has become operational. With 714 MW of installed capacity and 102 Siemens Gamesa wind turbines, it is one of the biggest offshore wind farms in the world. Each year, the park will produce enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of more than 630,000 homes.
Courtesy of ScottishPower Renewables
Charlie Jordan, East Anglia ONE project director at ScottishPower Renewables, said, “The final commissioning of East Anglia ONE is an incredible milestone for us and our project partners, as well as our wider stakeholders, the East Anglian region and the whole of the UK. And it comes at a crucial time as the UK takes it first steps towards a green economic recovery.
“I am extremely proud of everyone involved who has helped to deliver the project, doing so in a safe manner. I am delighted East Anglia ONE will play a leading roll in the region’s green energy production, and will also become a hub of industry, investment and skills as we continue to build the green energy sector that’s so important for our future.”
Around 20% of the turbine installation and around half the turbine connection work was completed during lockdown, with ScottishPower Renewables and its project partners transforming how they worked to get the job done. This included switching to a higher number of smaller vessels, creating crew ‘households’ who lived and worked together at all times, introducing new welfare protocols and minimizing crew changes.
This comprehensive approach allowed the project to be completed on time, creating a source of vital green energy to keep homes, businesses and communities powered during the crisis and beyond. East Anglia ONE will now play a major part in contributing to the UK’s target of meeting Net Zero by 2050.
Andrew Elmes, East Anglia ONE senior project manager at Siemens Gamesa, said, “The team reacted superbly to the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing East Anglia ONE from being derailed by the unprecedented situation. Safety issues to be managed in a critical period included: complete vessel, accommodation, and crew reorganizations; quarantine events, social distancing, suspect cases and testing onsite. We are extremely proud to have done so while achieving several key customer - and Siemens Gamesa - business milestones, despite the uncertainty. We’ve now commissioned the entire offshore wind power project, making real our commitment to providing clean energy for generations to come.”
Almost 3,500 jobs were sustained during the construction phase, which began in 2017, while 100 long-term skilled jobs have been created at the operations and maintenance base in Lowestoft.
ScottishPower Renewables co-invested £5 million in Peel Ports Great Yarmouth to prepare it for construction and marshalling activity. Over the course of the project, more than half of the project’s supply chain has come from the UK market, exceeding the commitments made as part of its successful bid for Contract for Difference funding.
ScottishPower Renewables has placed East Anglia at the center of its ambitious skills strategy, engaging with more than 3,000 pupils across the educational spectrum – including sponsorship of 10 engineering masters at the University of East Anglia – and the development of ScottishPower Renewables’ first-ever apprenticeship program.
The two new apprentices will be based at East Anglia ONE’s state-of-the-art new operations and maintenance building at Hamilton Dock, Lowestoft; a key part of a £25 million investment made by ScottishPower Renewables into the port. The apprentice recruitment drive comes on the back of the offshore wind industry target announced in March to employ 3,000 new apprentices across the industry by 2030.
East Anglia ONE, a joint venture between Iberdrola subsidiary, ScottishPower Renewables, and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG), is a £2.5 billion project. East Anglia ONE is part of a much more ambitious project. Iberdrola will be promoting a macro wind farm called East Anglia Hub, which will incorporate another three farms: East Anglia ONE North, East Anglia TWO and East Anglia THREE. Work will begin on the new development, which will add up to a total installed capacity of 3,100 MW by 2022.