The East Anglia ONE project, a joint venture between ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall, is the first in England and Wales to be approved from the Crown Estate’s Round Three Process.
The planned development is for up to 240 wind turbines to be installed across an area of 300km2 in the southern North Sea.
East Anglia Offshore Wind said it will now accelerate its contact with the supply chain and detailed negotiations will also take place to determine the ports that could support the project. Following a final investment decision, it is anticipated that onshore construction could begin in 2017, with offshore work starting in 2018 and first power generation achieved in 2019.
In a statement, Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said: ‘This is the largest renewable energy project ever to receive planning consent in England and Wales, and it is a significant achievement to see our plans approved, and an important step forward towards a final investment decision.
‘We will now take forward our discussions with the supply chain as we work towards unlocking the significant economic potential of the project. East Anglia ONE could support thousands of skilled jobs in construction and operation, and make a positive impact on the local and national economy for decades to come.’
It is anticipated that the development, the first of six potential projects in the East Anglia Zone, could support up to 2,700 jobs across the UK during the construction phase, representing more than £170m for the UK economy for each year of construction.
More than 1,600 construction jobs could be supported in the East Anglia region, adding over £100m to the regional economy annually during construction.
ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall expect that up to 170 engineers and technicians would be required to provide operations and maintenance support for the project once completed.
In total, for the three years of construction and 20-plus years of operation for East Anglia ONE the region’s economy could be boosted by £500m and see nearly 1,800 jobs supported or secured.
The full East Anglia ONE project has the potrential for:
- Offshore wind turbines and foundations (up to 240 wind turbines to provide an installed capacity of 1,200MW, figure subject to type and size of turbine).
- Up to three offshore collector stations and up to two offshore converter stations and their foundations to collect the electricity from the turbines and transform it to a form suitable for transfer to shore.
- Up to four seabed export cables, each around 73km in length, to transfer the electricity to shore.
- A landfall site with onshore transition pits to connect the offshore and onshore cables.
- Up to four onshore underground cables, each of around 37km in length, to transfer the electricity from landfall to an onshore converter station.
- Up to eight cable ducts for two future East Anglia projects to connect into Bramford Substation. This could limit the impact of future construction operations as cables for these future projects would be pulled through the pre-laid ducts
- An onshore converter station adjacent to the existing substation at Bramford, Suffolk, to connect the offshore windfarm to the National Grid.