UK’s “best value” off shore wind farm project gets green light

UK’s Energy Secretary has given Scottish Power Renewables the go-ahead to plan a 1.2GW “next generation” offshore wind farm.
Published: Mon 14 Aug 2017

The East Anglia THREE project will include 172 “larger and more efficient next generation” turbines, up to a height of 247 metres – two-and-a-half times the size of London’s iconic clock tower, Big Ben.

According to Scottish Power, the offshore wind farm will provide the UK with the “best value” as it will go into construction at £119/MWh, with costs expected to drop further in future auctions.

The project will be built 69 kilometres off the Norfolk coast and will produce enough electricity to power approximately one million households. Scottish Power  Renewables is currently delivering the 714MW East Anglia ONE project, which will be fully operational by 2020. It is developing four projects in total in the area, with a capacity of 3.5GW.

If the project secures subsidies under the “contracts of difference” auction programme, which provides support for the most economic schemes, construction is likely to begin around 2022, with the wind farm in operation by 2025.

Offshore wind supporting UK’s Industrial Strategy

The green light for the new wind farm project was welcomed by industry body RenewableUK. Its executive director Emma Pinchbeck said it was a “vote of confidence in the UK’s world-leading offshore wind sector.” She said: “This huge clean energy project is a great example of how offshore wind can enable the Government’s industrial strategy. Not only will the wind farm use the latest, innovative turbines, but it will also provide a massive boost for local businesses to grow.”

CEO Keith Anderson said: “Offshore wind has delivered on its promises from the outset. 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.”

Will Apps, Head of Energy Development at the Crown Estate said that the UK currently benefits from a strong development pipeline of over 11GW of offshore wind, in addition to projects that are already built or on track to supply 10% of the UK’s electricity demand by 2020.

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