ScottishPower Renewables has received planning approval for East Anglia THREE offshore windfarm and the installation of up to 172 larger ‘next generation’ turbines, with a tip height of 247 metres.

This is two-and-a-half times the size of Big Ben (96 metres). To be built 69 kilometres off the coast of Norfolk.

The windfarm, which will have an output capacity of up to 1,200 megawatts (MW), could produce enough electricity to power the annual demands of nearly one million homes.

The planning consent was granted by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Greg Clark MP.

ScottishPower Renewables believes that next generation technology will help to ensure that offshore wind is one of the cheapest forms of low carbon electricity. The company’s East Anglia ONE scheme is the best value project to go in to construction in the UK (£119 MW/h), and costs are expected to reduce even further in future auctions.

East Anglia THREE map

Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, 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.

‘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.

‘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.

‘Major contracts are already being delivered in towns and cities spread out all across the UK.  Offshore wind has supported jobs and investment in Hull, Hartlepool, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth, Grimsby, Teesside, Tyneside, Fife, Machrihanish and Belfast to name but a few. Large-scale projects like East Anglia THREE will continue to help to encourage economic regeneration where it is needed most.’

Will Apps, head of energy development at The Crown Estate, said: ‘It is great to see the East Anglia THREE project pass this significant milestone. Through the continued efforts of ScottishPower Renewables, and their industry peers, the UK now benefits from a strong development pipeline of more than 11GW of consented capacity. This is in addition to the projects that are already built or are on track to supply 10% of the UK’s electricity demand by 2020. The offshore wind industry continues to deliver as a large-scale, affordable and reliable choice for UK power generation.’

ScottishPower Renewables is currently delivering the East Anglia ONE project, which has a capacity of 714 MW and is due to be fully operational in 2020. The company is developing four projects in total in the area, with a capacity of 3,500 MW.

East Anglia THREE will cover an area of up to 305 square kilometres and will require up to 172 wind turbines to build the full capacity.

ScottishPower Renewables will now commence work on preparing the project for the next phase. The regulatory framework in the UK requires that offshore windfarm developers enter pre-qualified projects into a Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction process, where the most economic projects are selected to receive a contract. If successful in future CfD auctions, ScottishPower Renewables would like to see construction starting around 2022, with the project up and running by 2025.

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In total, East Anglia THREE will require:

  • Up to four offshore collector stations and up to two offshore converter station platforms;
  • Up to one offshore platform housing accommodation facilities;
  • Subsea inter-array cables between the wind turbines and converter station and collector station platforms;
  • Up to four subsea export cables to transmit electricity from the offshore platforms to shore;
  • Up to four interconnector cables between the East Anglia ONE and East Anglia THREE Projects;
  • Landfall at Bawdsey with onshore transition pits to join the offshore and onshore cables;
  • Up to four onshore underground cables pulled through existing ducting to be laid by East Anglia ONE, running for approximately 37 km from landfall to the connection point at Bramford, Suffolk, with jointing pits, to transmit electricity to a new onshore transformer substation;
  • An onshore transformer substation at Bramford, Suffolk, to connect the offshore windfarm to the National Grid.

RYA position

The Royal Yachting Associtaion (RYA) is constantly monitoring the developments in Round 3 wind farms and Round 2 extensions and assessing their potential impact on recreational boating.

The RYA meets regularly with all the developers to discuss recreational navigational safety.