The successful installation of the first East Anglia ONE turbine represents a significant milestone for a project bringing an economic boost to the East of England and wider UK.
Completed on 22 June, installation of the 7MW Siemens Gamesa wind turbine is a major milestone for the windfarm, marking the start of the final phase of the construction process following ten years of work and development.
Located 43km off the Suffolk coast, East Anglia ONE is creating hundreds of jobs for local people within the supply chain as well as harnessing a significant amount of UK content.
All of the turbine components are being pre-assembled and loaded out from Peel Ports Great Yarmouth, following ScottishPower Renewables’ £5million co-investment in the port to prepare it for construction and marshalling activity. The components, consisting of 75-metre fibre glass blades, tower sections and nacelles (the head of the turbine), have been on view along the Great Yarmouth seafront and skyline as the 90 metre-high towers have been constructed and stood on the quayside.
This is the first of 102 turbines being installed for £2.5billion East Anglia ONE windfarm. Demonstrating ScottishPower Renewables’ commitment to spending over 50% of East Anglia ONE’s project investment in the UK, a significant amount of the wind turbine components have been produced in Britain. Each of the 306 fibre glass turbine blades have been manufactured by Siemens Gamesa at its specially built factory in Hull, while some of the towers are being produced in Machrihanish, Scotland, by CSWind UK. The work taking place at Peel Ports is being supported by several local companies and employees.
“The installation of East Anglia ONE’s first turbine is a very important milestone for the project and a huge step forward towards completion of the windfarm,” said Charlie Jordan, East Anglia ONE Project Director for ScottishPower Renewables.
“East Anglia ONE is already providing a significant boost to the local economy with over £70million being committed to date to companies across the East of England* and further opportunities as the project becomes operational. Through the development of East Anglia ONE, we are not only providing cleaner energy but an array of training and job opportunities for this generation and the next.”
Andrew Elmes, East Anglia ONE Senior Project Manager at Siemens Gamesa, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside ScottishPower Renewables again, to manufacture, install and commission the turbines for East Anglia ONE.
“Drawing on our considerable experience in offshore wind power, the maturing of this excellent direct drive product, a UK supply chain and great collaboration between Siemens Gamesa and ScottishPower Renewables will ensure East Anglia ONE delivers reliable clean energy for generations to come.”
Richard Goffin, Port Director Peel Ports Great Yarmouth, said: “It is fantastic to see the investment into offshore renewables being made in our region. With the industry booming, and recent announcements made by the Crown Estate on potential future expansion, Great Yarmouth is at the forefront of the offshore sector, with tremendous potential to grow.
“To date, Peel Ports have invested £12million to extend the outer harbour to supply offshore projects, with further expansion planned. We are proud to support the growth of the sector by providing a platform for projects such as East Anglia ONE.”
Cllr Carl Smith and Cllr Trevor Wainwright, the political group leaders at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, added: “Great Yarmouth is at the forefront of £39billion energy investment over the next 20 years and is fast becoming an epicentre of the rapidly-growing offshore windfarm industry, which is of huge importance to our borough and region.
“The borough council has worked closely with Peel Ports Great Yarmouth, with excellent support from the County Council, to maximise the opportunities for Great Yarmouth across the energy sector. The first turbine being installed at East Anglia ONE is a great opportunity to celebrate the jobs and prosperity being brought to Great Yarmouth with the construction and marshalling being managed from the port.”
Councillor Graham Plant, deputy leader of Norfolk County Council and cabinet member for growing the economy, said: “This new windfarm is a powerful symbol of how we are all working together on a green industrial revolution which will transform Great Yarmouth’s future, boost Norfolk’s economy and play our part in tackling climate change.”
Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Never before has the future of energy been so high on the global agenda. Norfolk and Suffolk are one of the world’s busiest and most densely packed energy regions in the world. Having ScottishPower Renewables’ new wind farm East Anglia ONE is an important milestone in growing our clean energy offer.
“The development over the past 10 years have brought new jobs and business growth for local companies. This sector is growing and will help boost our economy which is essential to be competitive in the global market.”
ScottishPower Renewables has also invested £25million in Associated British Ports’ Hamilton Dock, in Lowestoft, with the construction of a start-of-the-art operations and maintenance base. Building work is set to be complete by the end of the year and, once operational, the hub will be a hive of activity with 100 full-time employees managing the day-to-day running and maintenance for East Anglia ONE.
The East Anglia ONE project will see 102 Siemens Gamesa turbines deployed, each with a capacity of 7 megawatts; which could in total provide enough clean energy to power the equivalent of more than 630,000 homes annually**.
East Anglia ONE is the first of four offshore windfarms ScottishPower Renewables is developing in the region. For more information about East Anglia ONE visit: www.spreastanglia.co.uk
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