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East Anglia ONE completed despite COVID complications
With the installation of the last of 102 Siemens Gamesa turbines, construction of the East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm has been completed, despite constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, says main developer ScottishPower Renewables.
The wind farm – situated 43 km off the Suffolk coast – is now fully operational, with the capacity to produce 714 MW of electricity. The £2.5bn East Anglia ONE project is a joint venture between ScottishPower Renewables and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group.
Around 20% of the turbine installation and around half the turbine connection work was completed during lockdown, with ScottishPower Renewables and its project partners transforming how they worked to get the job done. This included switching to a higher number of smaller vessels, creating crew ‘households’ who lived and worked together at all times, introducing new welfare protocols and minimising crew changes.
The approach allowed the project to be completed on time. Almost 3,500 jobs were sustained during the construction phase, which began in 2017, while 100 long-term skilled jobs have been created at the operations and maintenance base in Lowestoft.
ScottishPower Renewables also co-invested £5mn in Peel Ports Great Yarmouth to prepare it for construction and marshalling activity. Over the course of the project, more than half of the supply chain has come from the UK market, exceeding the commitments made as part of its successful bid for Contract for Difference funding, adds the company.
Andrew Elmes, East Anglia ONE Senior Project Manager at Siemens Gamesa, added: ‘The team reacted superbly to the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing East Anglia ONE from being derailed by the unprecedented situation. Safety issues to be managed in a critical period included: complete vessel, accommodation and crew reorganisations; quarantine events, social distancing, suspect cases and testing onsite.’
Now, ScottishPower Renewables has awarded the first major contract for the vast East Anglia Hub project, which combines three additional offshore wind farm projects (East Anglia ONE North, Two and Three) into a single delivery programme with a capacity of 3,100 MW. The contract, worth around £55mn and for undertaking geophysical surveys and site investigation across the project sites and export cable corridors, has been awarded to Fugro.
Once complete, the East Anglia Hub could provide around 10% of the 30 GW target that the government has set for offshore wind generation by 2030, playing a major part in contributing to the UK’s target of meeting net zero by 2050. The Hub will comprise up to 263 wind turbines. Fugro’s work will include turbine-specific site investigations across all three locations next year.
The initial 1,400 MW of power to be generated through the Hub via East Anglia Three has secured planning consent, and planning applications for the further 1,700 MW (split between East Anglia One North and East Anglia Two) have been submitted, says ScottishPower renewables. Overall investment to support the Hub is expected to be in the region of £6.5bn.
Separately, Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma has granted development consent for Vattenfall’s application to build Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm. To be located more than 47 km from the Norfolk coast, Norfolk Vanguard will have an installed capacity of 1.8 GW, equivalent to the electricity needs of 2mn UK homes.
Photo: ScottishPower Renewables