November 19 (SeeNews) - ScottishPower Renewables on Wednesday submitted plans for the 1.2-GW East Anglia THREE wind farm in the North Sea after the UK energy secretary committed to support offshore wind.
In a policy reset speech yesterday, Amber Rudd said that funding would be made available for three auctions in the current parliament, with the first auction planned to be held by the end of 2016.
Reassured by the commitment, ScottishPower Renewables, part of Spain's Iberdrola (BME:IBE), has officially filed plans for the project off the coast of Suffolk. Consisting of up to 172 wind turbines, the wind farm could generate enough power for more than 850,000 homes, the developer calculates. If consent is granted, onshore construction could start in 2021, with first power produced in 2023.
The scheme is in the 7.2-GW East Anglia wind zone that ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall AB decided to split in August 2015.
Chief executive Keith Anderson said that the company's East Anglia ONE project, which secured support in the last government auction with a price of GBP 119 (USD 182/EUR 170) per MWh, would be the best value offshore wind farm ever developed in the UK and added that costs were falling quickly.
Rudd linked the provision of funding for offshore wind to meeting the government's conditions on cost reduction. She said that if the technology moved quickly to cost-competitiveness, the government could support up to 10 GW of new offshore wind projects in the 2020s.
(GBP 1.0 = USD 1.528/EUR 1.427)