Consent has been granted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in the UK for the East Anglia One Offshore Wind Farm project. This is a significant piece of work that should be capable of generating 1,200 megawatts of electricity. This will be enough to power around 820,000 homes.
It is planned that the wind farm will consist of up to 240 wind turbines and will cover an area of approximately 300km2.
Located Off the Suffolk Coast
The wind farm will sit in the southern North Sea and it is expected that the project will be the first of up to six such projects planned for the region.
Construction To Begin in 2017
Following a final investment decision, it is anticipated that onshore construction could begin in 2017, with offshore work starting in 2018 and first power generation achieved in 2019.
It is estimated that the project could be responsible for generating around 1,800 local jobs to the area as well as pumping up to £500 million (US$847 million) into the region’s economy. This can be further broken down to be around £100 million each year of construction.
ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall expect that up to 170 engineers and technicians would be required to provide operations and maintenance support for the project once completed.
Proposed Wind Farm Facilities
The project will involve the installation of far more than the planned 240 wind turbines. It will also include:
- Up to three offshore collector stations and two offshore converter stations. This will transform the electricity to a suitable form for it to be transferred to shore.
- Up to four seabed cables to transfer the electricity. These cables could measure up to 73km in length.
- A landfall site with onshore transition pits to connect the offshore and onshore cables.
- Up to four onshore cables that could measure up to 37km in length. These cables will transfer the electricity to an onshore converter station.
- An onshore converter station adjacent to the existing substation at Bramford, Suffolk. This station will be the connection to the National Grid.
- As many as eight cable ducts. These will be put in place to cater for the East Anglia One project as well as two future projects and will connect into Bramford Substation.
Quotes From Participating Parties
“East Anglia and the rest of the UK have a lot to gain from this development. The project has the potential to inject millions of pounds into the local and national economies, and support thousands of green jobs. Making the most of Britain’s home grown energy is crucial in creating job and business opportunities, getting the best deal for customers and reducing our reliance on foreign imports,” said U.K. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey.
According to the CEO of Scottish Power Renewables, “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. 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, said: “The UK is a world leader in offshore wind and if it is to maintain that position it must continue reducing costs if the sector is to have a long term future. The investment in competitive UK and regional supply chains is essential to cost reduction in the sector but that investment will only be made if there is a pipeline of projects. Therefore the consent of a scheme like East Anglia ONE – which should be warmly welcomed by everyone – will boost business confidence and help secure more affordable, more reliable and greener power in the UK electricity mix.”
Largest Offshore Wind Farm
The fact that the largest offshore wind farm project has won consent is an indication of the strength of the offshore wind industry. It also shows how much faith governing bodies are putting in the processes that are undertaken to get such facilities installed and operational.