A full consent application with accompanying environmental statement (ES) has been submitted by the joint venture created by ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall Wind Power, which together were awarded the right to develop the 7.2GW East Anglia zone.
The documents in question are not yet publicly available, as the UK Planning Inspectorate has 28 days following submission of the application to assess them before deciding whether to accept them for full review. It must make its ‘validation’ decision by 19 December.
“It’s an exciting time, as a tremendous amount of work has gone into these documents,” a spokesperson for East Anglia Offshore Wind (EAOW) told Windpower Offshore. “More than two years were spent on public consultation and detailed studies. Now, we are waiting for the validation date, when we will receive the Planning Inspectorate’s decision.”
Windpower Offshore understands that EAOW has proposed a 1.2GW project and 325 as the maximum number turbines to be built within a 300km² triangular area off the Suffolk and Norfolk coasts.
Provided permitting goes smoothly, the goal is to begin onshore construction in 2016 and offshore construction in 2017.
EAOW has allowed itself a wide range of potential turbine sizes, ranging from 3.0 to 8MW. Given that both the lower and upper ends of this range are unlikely to be deployed, the East Anglia ONE project looks set to feature between 170 and 240 turbines. This assumes a choice of turbine with a rated capacity of 5-7MW. If Siemens 3.6MW machines were to be employed – though this is unlikely – the project would feature 325 turbines, the maximum number understood to be specified in the consent application.
Three foundation options have been proposed: jackets, gravity base and suction bucket. No final decisions have as yet been made about tier one and two contractors, said the spokesperson. Earlier this year Wood Group and Steel Engineering were awarded the contract to supply two meteorological masts for installation in the north and south sections of the the larger East Anglia Zone.