ScottishPower Renewables says its plans for the 172-turbine East Anglia Three wind farm could support up to 4,800 jobs during the construction phase.
The 1,200mw wind farm will be located off the coast of Suffolk and the application will be considered by the National Infrastructure team within the Planning Inspectorate. If the green light is given, construction could begin in 2021, with the first power generated two years later.
ScottishPower Renewables chief executive Keith Anderson said: “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.
“Our East Anglia One project was successful in the last government auction with a price of £119/MWh, which will make it the best value offshore windfarm ever developed in the UK. But we want to see costs come down even further. Our entire industry wants to get to a place where subsidy is not required, and significant progress is being made to deliver this in the near future.
“The offshore wind industry in the UK now benefits from more powerful and more efficient turbines. We have better vessels, more experience of working offshore, a healthier supply chain, a growing engineering skills base, increased capability to export our products and expertise around the globe, as well as ever increasing investment in UK infrastructure. All of these factors mean that costs are reducing quickly, and large projects are achievable.”
ScottishPower Renewables says that the potential 4,800 jobs created during construction could mean £400M for the economy. Around 2,900 of these jobs are likely to be in the East of England.
Development is already in progress for the £2bn East Anglia One offshore windfarm.
Yesterday energy secretary Amber Rudd announced offshore wind developers are set for up to three further opportunities to compete for government subsidies.