An offshore wind farm off the coast of Suffolk, which would be the biggest in the world, once built, has been given the green light by the UK government. Development of the East Anglia One wind farm will involve the installation of up to 240 turbines, and upon its completion will generate sufficient electricity to power around 820,000 homes.
According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the offshore development will support about 1,800 local technical jobs and generate half a billion pounds for the East Anglian economy, including £10 million a year once it is completed, as well as bringing more than £520m of investment into the UK economy.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, said: "East Anglia and the rest of the UK have a lot to gain from this development. The project has the potential to inject millions of pounds into the local and national economies, and support thousands of green jobs.
"Making the most of Britain's home grown energy is crucial in creating job and business opportunities, getting the best deal for customers and reducing our reliance on foreign imports."
The scheme will also see the construction of at least three offshore collector stations and two offshore converter stations as well as their foundations for the purpose of electricity collection and transformation in order to transfer it onshore.
Construction works are set to start in 2017 and the developers expect electricity generation from 2019 onwards.
The scheme, which is a 50-50 joint venture between Swedish renewable energy firm Vattenfall and ScottishPower Renewables, will support almost 2,900 operational and construction jobs, and require up to 170 engineers and technicians to provide operations and maintenance support upon its completion.
Maria McCaffery RenewableUK's chief executive said: "Our world-beating offshore wind industry is set to more than treble in size by the end of the decade – projects like this will help us to maintain our global lead. It's heartening to see Government backing this part of our industry extremely pro-actively.
“When it comes to recognising the benefits for Britain in terms of investment and jobs in offshore wind, Ministers really do get it, and it's great to have them on board. "Projects like East Anglia One are vital for our energy security, especially at a time when the level of instability in the Middle East is getting worse. Relying on importing fossil fuels looks like an increasingly risky option, so we will need more onshore and offshore wind, and wave and tidal projects, to help us meet our energy needs", she added.
Photo Source: Engineering and Technology Magazine