The 3.1 GW East Anglia Hub project

12 February 2020

ScottishPower Renewables is proposing to construct its three planned offshore windfarms off East Anglia, UK, as a new ‘East Anglia Hub’.

Iberdrola group, the owner of ScottishPower Renewables, is planning to construct its offshore windfarms planned for the North Sea off the coast of East Anglia in eastern England, as a new offshore complex called ‘East Anglia Hub’. This will be its biggest offshore project worldwide.

This undertaking will see the combining of three projects, East Anglia 1 North, East Anglia 2 and East Anglia 3, together capable of delivering a total installed capacity of 3100 MW: The Hub will be located off the Norfolk coast near Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth in eastern England (see map, below). The works, which represent an investment of GBP 6.5 billion, are to commence in 2022 and are expected to take four years.

East Anglia 3 will be rated 1400 MW, while East Anglia 1 North and East Anglia 2 will be rated together at 1700 MW.

In the event that full consents are achieved in 2021, for East Anglia 2 and East Anglia 1 North, the East Anglia Hub concept will enable the accelerated development of these projects and is expected to increase efficiencies. The wind farms will be developed in parallel by means of a continuous installation programme to take advantage of economies of scale. This could deliver multiple and wide reaching benefits such as reduced construction timescales, sustained contracting opportunities for the supply chain and a reduction in the cost of renewable energy.

On completon the East Anglia Hub will consist of between 220 and 280 ‘next generation’ turbines in the southern North Sea together generating up to 3.1 GW. The offshore and onshore layout of the three arrays will remain as originally planned. Construction is expected to start in 2022.

East Anglia 3

East Anglia 3 will be located 69 km off the Norfolk coast, near the London metropolitan area. This first phase of the project has already been granted planning permission, while all the required documentation for phases two and three has already been submitted for approval. Site work is scheduled to commence in 2022 and is expected to take four years.

Project financing comes from British government contracts and private agreements. The main project suppliers are likely to be announced over the next 10 months. This development will see Iberdrola become one of the major offshore wind operators in the UK.

East Anglia 1 comes on line

By January Iberdrola could announce that it had installed half of the East Anglia 1 wind turbines, 7 MW units supplied by Siemens Gamesa, a total of 51 out of 102. With 714 MW of installed capacity, it will be one of the biggest offshore wind farms in the world when it comes on stream in the first half of 2020.

It is located in the North Sea about 50 km from the coast of the English county of Suffolk. It has an investment value of £2.5 bn and is owned 60% by the Iberdrola group and 40% by the Green Investment Group (GIG), part of the Macquarie group. Planned maintenance at the wind farm will be performed by James Fisher Marine Services (JFMS). The farm will cover an area of 300 sq km. The jacket type foundations are manufactured by Navantia in Fene, Spain, by Lamprell in the United Arab Emirates and by Harland & Wolff in Belfast (Ireland). Windar built the piles in Avile´s (Asturias, Spain).

To transport the power output, submarine cables will be connected to a further six underground cables approximately 37 km long, from landfall at Bawdsey to a new transformer at the Burstall sub-station, which will enable connection of the offshore wind farm to the national grid.

The maintenance and operations centre, which is located in Lowestoft Port, will handle daily operations for the fleet over its 30+ year working life. Opened in 2019, it consists of the maritime co-ordination centre, technical offices and a warehouse, and about a hundred people are employed on site.

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