UK - ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall to develop major offshore windfarms off the coast of East Anglia

'East Anglia Array' will have the potential to generate approximately 7.2GW of renewable energy

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 Galan, 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 GalAin, 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.
Online Editorial www.windfair.net
Trevor Sievert, Online editorial Journalist
wind energy, wind farm, rotorblade, wind power, wind turbine

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