ScottishPower Renewables has this week been awarded planning consent for the 1.2 GW East Anglia THREE offshore wind farm, which joins the already in-construction 714 MW East Anglia ONE.
The UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Greg Clark MP, awarded planning consent to developer ScottishPower Renewables on Monday, allowing for the installation of next-generation wind turbines that measure up to 247 meters — two and a half times the size of UK landmark clock, Big Ben (which stands at 96 meters). Set to be built in the southern North Sea, 69 kilometers off the coast of Norfolk, in the east of England, East Anglia THREE will be built a little to the north of the 714 MW East Anglia ONE, already under construction by ScottishPower Renewables.
ScottishPower Renewables committed to East Anglia ONE back in February of 2016, hailing the project at the time as “the best value offshore wind farm in the world,” delivering clean electricity at £119 MWh — more than 15% lower than other offshore wind farms under construction in the UK at the time. Of course, the cost of offshore wind has only declined since then, but East Anglia ONE still remains a valuable commodity. Unsurprisingly, ScottishPower predicts that THREE will be just as competitive, if not more so. Originally proposed back in December of 2015, THREE could supply enough energy for 890,000 homes.
“Offshore wind has delivered on its promises from the outset,” said Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables.
“Our sector has met every technical and political challenge, grown the UK’s supply chain, and improved the technology at a rapid pace to allow projects to be deployed in ever harsher conditions. At the same time, the level of cost reductions achieved would more commonly be seen in consumer electronics.
“With the support of a highly-skilled supply chain, East Anglia THREE will further enhance the UK’s leading position in offshore wind. No other sector ticks all of the boxes in its ability to support the Government’s plans for rebalancing the economy and promoting economic diversity through the Industrial Strategy.”
East Anglia ONE, currently under construction, consists of 102 Siemens 7 MW wind turbines, with an overall capacity of 714 MW, and is expected to be completed and fully operational in 2020. East Anglia THREE will consist of up to 172 wind turbines, that could range in size anywhere between 7 MW and 12 MW, but with a cap of 1.2 GW.
News of the consent has been greeted by the country’s renewable energy industry, as well.
“Today’s announcement is a vote of confidence in the UK’s world-leading offshore wind sector,” said RenewableUK’s Executive Director, Emma Pinchbeck. “This huge clean energy project is a great example of how offshore wind can enable the Government’s Industrial Strategy. The project is expected to create thousands of skilled jobs throughout its 30-year lifetime. Not only will the wind farm use the latest, innovative turbines, but it will also provide a massive boost for local businesses to grow.”
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