1.2 GW Wind Farm Plans Submitted By Scottish Renewables

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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.

scottishpowerrenewables“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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Jake Richardson

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21 thoughts on “1.2 GW Wind Farm Plans Submitted By Scottish Renewables

  • “If completed, it could generate enough electricity to supply about 850,000 homes – when there is adequate wind, of course.” Surely the journalistic standard-home metric is based on annual consumption not peak? In operation, the wind farm will be covering the consumption of many more than 850,000 houses, at slack times less. It’s a very unsatisfactory metric anyway: ambiguous and not intuitive. Better use grown-up measures like gigawatt-hours.

    • GW-hours also makes it directly relatable to electrical storage.

    • Or include both. The sound bite version for those who aren’t interested, and the grownup version for those who are. As to the “when there is adequate wind comment” it’s not like it’s totally unfair, as long as people are also thinking about entire coal plants tripping off line without notice during a storm like in Texas last year while the wind turbines kept right on producing, or a nuke going out of commission for a year and a half over a football sized hole in the lid. All of these things can have problems.

      • Very important to include both metrics. For example I was trying to explain to my wife last night, who is an intelligent woman, about how much power this wind farm would provide. As soon as i mentioned GW and GW/h she glazed over, not because she doesn’t care but because those units are irrelevant to her. When I talked about the number of houses and the fact that the figure will go up and down with wind speed she understood. There are a lot of people out there like her who care about the environment but need simple, relevant metrics to clearly understand the implications of renewable energy.

        • I agree. We need a context to explain the amount of electricity used. MWh, GWh, TWh – those metrics have zero meaning to most people. People do understand houses.

          We can get a number for the “average US house”. Sure, there’s a big range, but the average is the average.

          We must communicate effectively. That is what this site is all about, bringing the most current information about clean technology to one place and presenting it in a fashion easily understood.

    • I hate the # homes, since you never know whom’s home. Please GWh/yr or as things get bigger TWh/yr, PWh/yr

  • 1.21 GW? Great Scott!

    (Sorry, had to do it…)

  • 1.2 GW for 850.000 homes? Only 1.4kW per home???

    • Average demand is probably much less than 1.4kw per house. Average household electricity per year 4000 Kwh. Per day ll Kwh, per hour .45 kwh. So average hourly demand is .45kw. Now, it will spike occasionally at 3 or 4 kw but it is smeared over a million houses and so will be called a general peak. That will be best handle by battery “peaking storage” either utility scale or “in the home behind the meter” A nice little Tesla 7kwh powerwall would solve all those issues of smoothing.

      • By the way there are only 2.3 million houses in Scotland so they won’t need too many projects of this size to be 100% renewable once you throw in some solar.

        • It’s in Suffolk, England 😉

          • But it is Scottish Power right?

          • Yes it’s called Scottish Power but, because of our grid setup, we don’t have regional utility companies – any generating company can do business in any part of the UK.

            It’s called Scottish Power because it started trading (and probably has its headquarters) in Scotland.

        • It’s in UK, that’s ~65 million. And when that country develops and gets off fossil fuels there will be more than 4000 kWh used per household.
          They should also have enough to other sectors like the industries 😛

          100% renewable is long long away and lots of projects of this size needed.

          • 65 million people, not houses. Make that about 20 million houses and at about 4500 kwh year. That, by the way is quite admirable. Let us hope they will not increase their demand but in fact shrink to the German average of 3500 kwh per year per house.

          • Germany is far from a good example considering that they have not gotten far in their electrification but use a lot of natural gas for heating and oil to run their cars. Their amount of electricity used will also increase.

            My point was very unclear, the point I’d rather wanted to make is that the Scottish region of UK has great potential and will have to do a lot more than “just” be satisfied with 100% renewable electricity just for the regions household electricity and that it will take a lot more to cover all their electricity and especially when all sectors are electrified.

            My hope is that they will use every spot with potential and make the transmission lines to the rest of the country buzz of overload.

            Bigger, faster and more ambitious. =)

          • Great, let’s hope all will be used. There are a lot of areas with great potential. Much more than simply covering a parts of a small region like Scotland.

    • 1.2 GW with 3500 FLH generate 4.2 TWh electricity. This is for me the annual demand of about 0.9 million households.

  • The “when there is adequate wind, of course” remark is not appropriate on a site like this, IMHO. Seriously, it might well be a fitting rejoinder “down the pub”, but on a site that deals with these issues every day, most readers are perfectly aware by now that wind speed is not constant.
    Most readers ALSO know that there are well-accepted ways of actually MEASURING this “inadequacy”. A simple ratio of average to rated speed, or a distribution curve of typical wind speeds and frequency of occurrence. To simply throw out the simplistic “disclaimer” suggests that the author could not be bothered to do the most basic research required for writing this story.
    A multi-million pound decision on the siting of a wind farm is not done arbitrarily. The calculated return on investment will obviously be based on a very detailed modelling exercise, taking into account historical wind data, turbine height, turbine efficiency profile etc etc.
    This is the sort of data that would be of interest to many readers, especially as we are seeing a positive correlation between hub heights and capacity factors.
    Some basic information of cost per turbine, expected capacity factors and LCOE would also be very welcome.

    Also, enough already with the arbitrary “850,000 households” type metric. By all means, find out who the eventual customers for the electricity will be, and determine what the average usage profile is for those customers. And then tell us that “according to statistics from XXX, the average daily electricity consumption per household in XXXX county/municipality/province was XXX kWh in 201X, the most recent year for which figures are available. At peak capacity of XXXGW, and an expected capacity factor of XXX%, the proposed wind farm could supply electricity to about XXX,000 homes in the area.” Something to that effect. A bit of background information or context for the story. Like, if somebody talks about the falling cost of offshore wind, let us have a sentence with a recent number, and a reference source.
    Basically, not just the stuff that you found in the press release.
    That would be appreciated.
    And then there’s this:” 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.”
    UmmWhat? I don’t even……

    • Don’t be silly, the wind is the way these big fans get energy to all those houses. If the wind is not sufficient how are you going to blow all that energy over 850 000 homes. The author did not explain how the houses catch all that energy, maybe that’s were the good jobs come in.

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