Vattenfall and Scottish Power Renewables have invested over £15 million in contracts to businesses in East Anglia in relation to offshore wind farm projects off the East Anglian coast. At least 28 firms in East Anglia have benefitted since 2010 thereby supporting more than 100 local jobs.
The two companies have been awarded development rights by The Crown Estate to Zone 5 of the UK coastline known as the East Anglia Zone. To develop projects in this area they have formed a joint venture company called East Anglia Offshore Wind Limited (EAOW) and are working with local companies and stakeholders to develop the zone’s full potential. Initial studies indicate a target capacity of up to 7,200MW which could provide enough clean, green energy for over 4.6 million homes.
The first project, the East Anglia ONE Offshore Windfarm, is currently being developed just south of the zone and covers an area of approximately 300km2 lying some 43.4 km from the Suffolk coastline. National Grid have provided EAOW with a grid connection offer for 1,200MW at Bramford in Suffolk.
“East Anglia Offshore Wind Farm is already good news for the East Anglian economy with more than £15 million contracted with the region’s business” said Andy Paine, East Anglia Programme Director. “It’s great to see businesses like Brown & May Marine benefit from contracts associated with the development of our first project and I’m really proud of our project’s investment in East Anglian businesses to date.”
Mr Paine added that prospects for the local economy could get even better thanks to the development of the wind farm’s Phase 1 with expected consent from the government next year. If the project is approved and built it is expected to deliver £500 million to the regional economy and 1,600 construction jobs in East Anglia alone.
Contracts awarded to local firms throughout East Anglia have varied from modest accommodation and catering contracts to multi-million pound marine services, research and consulting contracts. East Anglia ONE entered the planning system in December 2012 and is aiming to achieve consent from the UK Government in 2014. It is anticipated that construction could begin onshore as early as 2016 with offshore construction commencing the following year. It is estimated that East Anglia ONE alone could meet the equivalent electricity needs of roughly 700,000 homes in the UK.
MP for Waveney, Peter Aldous, commented: ““This announcement is very good news and illustrates the significant opportunities that the development of offshore wind farms in the North Sea offers to businesses throughout East Anglia. I welcome ScottishPower Renewables’ and Vattenfall’s commitment to the region and it is important that working with them, everything possible is done to ensure that local people and local businesses benefit from this. This means ensuring that the necessary investment is made in both skills and infrastructure and local businesses are in the best possible position to bid successfully for contracts.”
East Anglia Offshore Windfarm Zone