ScottishPower Renewables submits plan for 1.2GW East Anglian offshore windfarm

18 November 2015 (Last Updated November 18th, 2015 18:30)

ScottishPower Renewables has submitted its plan to build a 1,200MW windfarm off the coast of Suffolk, after UK Government clears that it will provide support to such projects.

ScottishPower Renewables has submitted its plan to build a 1,200MW windfarm off the coast of Suffolk, after UK Government clears that it will provide support to such projects.

The project called East Anglia THREE will spread across a 305km² area in the southern North Sea, off the coast of Suffolk in East Anglia.

It will feature up to 172 wind turbines and generate enough energy to meet the power needs of more than 850,000 homes.

The application will now be considered by the National Infrastructure team within the Planning Inspectorate.

"The more offshore wind capacity we have in the UK, the more secure our energy supplies will be."

If plan is approved, the company plans to start onshore construction in 2021, with offshore work starting in 2022 and first power generation beginning in 2023.

The announcement from the company has come following UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd’s statement that the Government will hold the next auction of renewable energy subsidies by the end of 2016, ending the uncertainties.

Rudd said: "Today I will announce that we will make funding available for three auctions in this Parliament with the first taking place by the end of 2016.

"This support will be strictly conditional on the delivery of the cost reductions we have seen already accelerating.

"If that happens we could support up to 10GW of additional offshore wind in the 2020s. We have already seen the cost of solar come down by 35% in the last 3 years."

The UK Government said that technical development has helped pare the costs of contracts for offshore wind come by at least 20% in the last two years, but it is still expensive.

Rudd added: "So our approach will be different – we will not support offshore wind at any cost.

"Further support will be strictly conditional on the cost reductions we have seen already accelerating.

"The technology needs to move quickly to cost-competitiveness."

ScottishPower Renewables has welcomed the support, saying that more offshore wind capacity will provide energy security to the country.

ScottishPower Renewables CEO Keith Anderson said: "We were very pleased to hear Amber Rudd’s commitment today to support the continued growth of offshore wind power.

"The more offshore wind capacity we have in the UK, the more secure our energy supplies will be. It already powers 3.5 million homes per year, and with wind around our coasts in plentiful supply, it has the potential to play an even more significant role."

East Anglia THREE was proposed to be developed in a 50/50 joint venture between ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall.

But in August 2015, both the parties agreed to develop offshore windfarm projects independently within the ‘East Anglia Zone’.

ScottishPower Renewables is currently developing £2bn East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm with a power generation capacity of up to 714MW.