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Published on June 19th, 2014 | by Tina Casey

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East Anglia Gets World’s Largset Offshore Wind Farm, Says NUTS 2 Shale Gas

June 19th, 2014 by  


No, seriously, NUTS 2 is a thing. But first let’s get to the world’s largest offshore wind farm-to-be. Earlier this week the UK greenlighted an offshore wind farm called East Anglia One, which they’re billing as one of the biggest wind farms in the world.

What’s with the qualifier? If built as planned the new project will sport 240 wind turbines.  That tops the London Array, which is the current global offshore record holder (a proposed expansion of the Array has been shelved for now, btw).

World's largest offshore wind farm.

Offshore wind farm (cropped) courtesy of EAOW.

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

The new East Anglia offshore wind farm project was announced by the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change earlier this week.

While that agency bills it as a 240-turbine project, if you check out the project information at the UK’s National Infrastructure Planning Portal it’s even more impressive.

As of this writing, the plans call for up to 325 wind turbines with an installed capacity of 1200 megawatts, located about 43 kilometers off the coast of Suffolk. It will cover an area of about 300 km.

In addition to the turbines, the project includes offshore collector and converter stations, up to four 73-kilometer seabed cables, and whatever else is needed for a National Grid connection at the Bramford Substation.

At Bramford the plans actually call for up to eight onshore cable ducts, although only four are needed for East Anglia One.

That’s because, as the name of the project suggests, this is just the beginning.

More And More Offshore Wind Power

The developer of East Anglia One is a joint venture between the energy developer Scottish Power Renewables (Part of Iberdrola Group) and Sweden’s Vattenfall Wind Power state-owned utility company.

Under the moniker East Anglia Offshore Wind Limited, the venture has the rights to develop about 7,200 MW in offshore wind farm capacity in the East Anglia zone.

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s enough offshore wind power to keep more than 4 million typical homes humming along.

Space has already been staked out for more offshore wind farms, namely East Anglia Three and Four. We’re not sure what happened to Two but the company is aiming at a total of six wind farms.

 And More Shale Gas, Too?

As for the shale gas angle, it has been a truth universally acknowledged that carbon assets in the ground must be in want of a way out, so despite the Department of Energy & Climate Change’s enthusiastic embrace of wind power, the UK is still set on exploiting its shale gas reserves.

Just last month, DECC issued new proposals aimed at simplifying approvals for shale gas and oil development in the UK.

The move comes despite mounting evidence that links oil and gas fracking to earthquakes in the UK as well as earthquakes here in the US.

 

However, it’s of a piece with DECC’s policymaking record. Earlier this year the agency launched an ambitious UK solar plan, but that was part of a broader energy roadmap update that included plans for more nuclear energy, too.

NUTS 2 Fracking in East Anglia

We could go on but it’s time to explain about NUTS 2.

NUTS stands for Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics, with is an EU thing so we won’t get into the details here, except to note that East Anglia is classified as a NUTS 2 region, and the fracking issue has come to a boil in East Anglia this year.

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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.



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