The Crown Estate has awarded ScottishPower Renewables, part of the largest wind energy company in the world* and Vattenfall, the world’s leading offshore wind developer, the right to develop a major offshore wind zone in the North Sea, off the East Anglia coast, that has the potential to power the equivalent of over 5 million homes annually.
For the past 12 months ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall have been carrying out initial assessments of the zone’s potential. As well as being ideally located for access to the supply chain in the UK and Europe, the zone also has ideal water depths for construction and is situated near to large centres of population with good access to national grid connections.
The initial investigations suggest that the zone, which will be known as the ‘East Anglia Array’, has the potential to generate approximately 7.2GW of renewable energy, which would make a substantial contribution to the UK’s carbon reduction targets to combat climate change.
Discussions have already started with interested parties and environmental groups 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 and are engaging with regional development agencies to discuss the best ways to take this forward.
Ignacio Galán, Chairman and CEO of Iberdrola, parent company of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “We are delighted to be working with Vattenfall on what will 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,” added Galán, who is also Chairman of ScottishPower and of Iberdrola Renovables.
Lars G. Josefsson, the President and CEO of Swedish energy utility Vattenfall, said: “Making electricity clean is Vattenfall's promise to its customers and society and offshore wind is a cornerstone of our 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."
Roger Bright CB, Chief Executive of The Crown Estate said: “I am delighted to announce that ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall have been awarded the right to develop the East Anglia Array in our Round 3 offshore wind programme. The 32GW of installed capacity proposed by the offshore wind energy developers for 2020 would supply a quarter of the UK’s electricity needs. This means the UK will have a secure and low carbon electricity supply. In addition, the UK economy will benefit as offshore wind is a growth industry that will create new businesses and jobs as well as attracting inward investment. The Crown Estate has the vested rights to develop the UK seabed for renewable energy and will continue to be a co-investor up to the point of consent. Our role now is work together with our development partners to help deliver the projects.”
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: “Our island has one of the best wind energy resources in Europe and today’s news shows we’re creating the right conditions for the energy industry to invest in harnessing it. This is one of the strongest signals yet that the UK is locked irreversibly into a low carbon, energy secure prosperous future.”
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 approved, it is anticipated that construction would begin in 2015 and would be carried out in phases.
Notes to Editors:
*Source: New Energy Finance
ScottishPower Renewables is part of Iberdrola Renovables, the largest wind energy company in the world with an installed capacity of close to 11,000 MW at the end of 2009, and a pipeline of over 57,400 MW. ScottishPower Renewables had over 800 MW of installed capacity at the end of 2009, and a pipeline of 5,115 MW.
Iberdrola Renovables has a presence in 23 countries around the world.
ScottishPower Renewables is currently developing offshore energy projects in the UK totalling more than 1,700 MW, including co-development of the 500MW West of Duddon Sands offshore wind project.
The company is already the largest developer and generator of on-shore wind energy in the UK, with Europe’s largest wind farm at Whitelee which was completed in May 2009.
Vattenfall AB is the state owned Swedish energy utility. It is Europe’s fifth largest generator of electricity and largest generator of heat. It currently operates nearly 400MW of offshore wind capacity around Europe, including the 90MW Kentish Flats, off Whitstable in Kent. It also has 2,700MW of offshore wind capacity in the pipeline and includes under construction more than 400MW of offshore wind capacity around Europe including the 300MW Thanet Wind Farm, also off Kent and operational in 2010, and the 150MW Ormonde Wind Farm, off Barrow-in-Furness.
www.vattenfall.co.uk | www.vattenfall.com
East Anglia Offshore Wind Ltd is the joint-venture company, owned 50-50 between ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall AB, set up to bid for licenses in Round 3 and develop projects if successful.