Vattenfall and ScottishPower Renewables have today been awarded the rights to develop a major offshore wind farm off the east coast of England in the North Sea. Fully utilised, it has potential to meet the equivalent electricity needs of more than four million homes annually. This opportunity is in line with Vattenfall’s ambition to increase the level of renewable energy and to “make electricity clean”, and it will make a substantial contribution to the UK’s renewable energy targets to combat climate change.
The award was made as part of The Crown Estate’s Round 3 offshore wind farm programme following 12 months of initial assessments of the zone’s potential by Vattenfall and ScottishPower Renewables.
Early investigations suggest that the East Anglia Array has the potential to achieve a capacity of approximately 7.200MW.
Discussions have already started with interested parties and a comprehensive and long-term engagement exercise will be carried out with local communities. The partners are also aiming to work with local businesses and employ local workers where possible.
Ignacio Galán, Chairman of Iberdrola Renovables, parent company of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “We are delighted to be working with Vattenfall on what could be one of the world’s largest windfarm developments. There is no doubt that delivering the East Anglia Array will be a major engineering challenge but, as the largest developer of onshore wind power in the UK, we have acquired a great deal of expertise in the last 15 years that will help us to achieve such an ambitious project.”
Lars G Josefsson, President and CEO of Vattenfall, said: “Offshore wind is a cornerstone of Vattenfall’s contribution to a better climate. Vattenfall is therefore delighted to be working with ScottishPower Renewables and we are excited about the prospect of using our wide and varied offshore wind experience gained building schemes across Europe by developing a wind farm off the East Anglia coast."
The partnership has established a joint-venture company called East Anglia Offshore Wind Ltd and its team of specialists have now started to assess the engineering challenges of the East Anglia zone and research any potential significant environmental effects.
ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall are hoping to submit the first planning application in 2012. If the planning application is approved and internal decisions prove favourable, it is anticipated that construction would begin in 2015 and would be carried out in phases.
The East Anglia Array is one of nine zones released today in the third licensing round by The Crown Estate.
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