Plans for a 1.2 GW wind farm have been submitted by ScottishPower Renewables. The project is called East Anglia Three and the proposed location is off the coast of Suffolk. Over 300 square kilometers would be used to create the wind farm, if the UK government decides to support it. If completed, it could generate enough electricity to supply about 850,000 homes – when there is adequate wind, of course.
“Today I will announce that we will make funding available for three auctions in this Parliament with the first taking place by the end of 2016. This support will be strictly conditional on the delivery of the cost reductions we have seen already accelerating. If that happens we could support up to 10 GW of additional offshore wind in the 2020s. We have already seen the cost of solar come down by 35% in the last 3 years,” explained UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd.
It’s a massive project that if approved, could start generating electricity in 2023, with offshore construction beginning in 2022 and onshore in 2021. It would have up to 172 turbines with capacities ranging from 7 MW to 12 MW.
Scottish Renewables is already developing the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm, which has a capacity up to 714 MW. It has been reported that this smaller project could create up to 3,000 jobs, with about half of them associated with the turbine contract.
Of course, if these two wind farms are completed with about 1.9 GW of capacity, that would be a huge achievement and worthy of celebration, but the East Anglia area could have far more than that. In fact, about 7.2 GW of capacity has been considered, and the electricity it could generate has been estimated as enough to power about 5 million homes – again, with sufficient wind.
One of the intriguing aspects of these clean energy projects is that they sometimes are perceived by critics as unaffordable, but they also create jobs, and often good ones.
Image Credit: ScottishPower Renewables
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