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‘Incredible milestone’ achieved with wind farm completion

A wind farm off the East Anglian coast is now fully operational.
Construction of the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm, which lies 43km off the Suffolk coast, has been completed with all 102 turbines operational.
The ScottishPower Renewables and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) £2.5bn installation will produce 714 megawatts of clean energy a year – which is said to be enough to power the equivalent of more than 630,000 homes.
With around 20 per cent of the turbine installation and around half the turbine connection work being completed during lockdown, ScottishPower Renewables and its project partners had to adapt how they worked to complete construction.
Changes included switching to a higher number of smaller vessels, creating crew ‘households’ who lived and worked together at all times, as well as introducing new welfare protocols and minimising crew changes.
The site has already brought significant benefits to the local economy, as 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 co-invested £5m in Peel Ports Great Yarmouth to prepare it for construction and marshalling activity.
Over the course of the project, more than half of the project’s supply chain has come from the UK market, exceeding the commitments made as part of the wind farm’s successful bid for Contract for Difference funding.
Other activities by ScottishPower Renewables have included sponsorship of 10 engineering masters at the University of East Anglia and establishing an apprenticeship programme.
The two new apprentices will be based at East Anglia ONE’s state-of-the-art new operations and maintenance building at Hamilton Dock in Lowestoft – part of a £25m investment made by ScottishPower Renewables into the port.
Charlie Jordan, East Anglia ONE project director at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “The final commissioning of East Anglia ONE is an incredible milestone for us and our project partners, as well as our wider stakeholders, the East Anglian region and the whole of the UK.”
Edward Northam, head of GIG Europe, added: “Successfully commissioning one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms on time, despite all of the challenges posed by Covid-19, is a testament to the incredible efforts of the whole East Anglia ONE team – and the many UK businesses that have supported the project.”