The United Kingdom government have given planning permission for ScottishPower Renewables to build a large offshore wind farm off the coast of East Anglia.
ScottishPower Renewables, owned by Spanish energy firm Iberdrola, will be building the 118 square miles of wind farm 42 miles off the coast of Norfolk.
The next generation technology should help wind power become one of the cheapest forms of low carbon electricity. Image: ScottishPower
Called East Anglia THREE, the offshore wind farm will output up to 1.2 gigawatts of electricity – enough to power 890,000 homes.
It will comprise 172 larger, more efficient “next generation” turbines that are two and a half times taller than Big Ben.
The area off the coast of East Anglia offers ideal conditions for an offshore wind farm. It is shallow, near the coast, has a suitable seabed, and high wind speeds.
The new offshore wind farm is the second project that ScottishPower Renewables are developing in the area.
East Anglia ONE, already in construction, is due to start operating in 2020. Its 102 wind turbines will generate a total output of 715 megawatts – enough power for around half a million homes.
Another project, East Anglia TWO, is still in the investigative stage, with consent application planned for early 2019.
Altogether, ScottishPower Renewables are developing four offshore wind farms in the area, with a total capacity of 3.5 gigawatts.
Cheaper low carbon electricity
The energy firm believe that the “next generation” technology that they are using on East Anglia THREE will “help to ensure that offshore wind is one of the cheapest forms of low carbon electricity.”
East Anglia ONE, the best value wind farm to go into construction so far in the UK, will be producing electricity priced at £119 per megawatt hour.
The East Anglia THREE offshore wind farm will be 42 miles off the coast of Norfolk. Image: ScottishPower
Work on preparing East Anglia THREE for the next phase will now begin. Under the government’s Electricity Market Reform, the project must now compete with others in a Contracts for Difference auction.
Only the most economic projects will be selected and awarded contracts.
If the project passes this stage successfully, ScottishPower Renewables hope to start building around 2022, with the offshore wind farm working by 2025.
Keith Anderson, chief executive of ScottishPower Renewables says that offshore wind has met its promises to reduce cost, grow the UK’s supply chain, and rapidly improve wind power technology.
“In a little over a decade, our sector has delivered substantial amounts of green electricity for the UK, supported billions of pounds of UK investment and created thousands of high quality jobs,” he adds.