The planning consent for East Anglia Three allows for the installation of larger and more efficient ‘next generation’ turbines, up to a tip height of 247 metres – a full 12 metres higher than One Canada Square, the original Canary Wharf tower.
ScottishPower Renewables hopes to start construction in 2022, but first needs to enter and win a ‘contracts for difference’ auction process with the government.
ScottishPower Renewables believes that the new turbines 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 reckoned to be the best value project to go in to construction in the UK, at £119 per MW/h, and costs are expected to reduce further in future auctions.
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.”
Offshore wind energy is set to supply 10% of the UK’s electricity demand by 2020.
Mr Anderson added: “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.”
ScottishPower Renewables is currently installing the £2.5bn 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 start 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.
In total, East Anglia Three will require:
- Up to four offshore collector stations and two offshore converter station platforms;
- An 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 37km 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