ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall have received development consent from the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change for the East Anglia ONE Offshore wind farm 43km off the Suffolk Coast.
The 1.2GW offshore wind farm, a 50-50 joint venture between Sweden's state-owned utility Vattenfall and Scottish Power Renewables, will feature 240 wind turbine generators and associated infrastructure.
Expected to provide nearly 2,900 jobs, the wind farm would be worth £10m a year to the East Anglian economy and generate enough electricity to power approximately 820,000 homes.
During the planning process, local companies were selected for contracts worth £15m to work on the project and a £17m contract was awarded to Wood Group for the construction and installation of weather monitoring masts.
ScottishPower Renewables CEO Keith Anderson said development consent for the renewable energy project marks an important step forward towards a final investment decision.
Anderson said, "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."
Vattenfall Continental/UK renewables division head Gunnar Groebler said, "Therefore the consent of a scheme like East Anglia ONE - which should be warmly welcomed by everyone - will boost business confidence and help secure more affordable, more reliable and greener power in the UK electricity mix."
Scheduled to commence construction in 2017, the project is slated to begin generating electricity from 2019.
UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said, "The project has the potential to inject millions of pounds into the local and national economies, and support thousands of green jobs."
Image: East Anglia ONE Offshore wind farm receives development consent. Photo: courtesy of Crown ©.