East Anglia: ScottishPower set to reveal wind power plans for Harwich, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth

Keith Anderson of ScottishPower

Keith Anderson of ScottishPower - Credit: Chris James

Bosses at ScottishPower hope to reveal by the end of the year how it will use three East Anglian ports to work on a massive offshore windfarm off the Suffolk coast.

The firm and its partner Vattenfall previously signed a memorandum of understanding with three ports – Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, and Harwich – which could see one or all involved as either a construction base, or operation and maintenance centre for the East Anglia One windfarm project to build up to 325 turbines 43 miles south of Lowestoft, the first of six windfarms to be built off the coast.

And with ScottishPower investing up to £50million in Belfast Harbour when working on the West of Duddon Sands windfarm in a joint venture with Dong Energy, hopes are high of attracting more investment and job opportunities to the ports.

Keith Anderson, ScottishPower’s chief corporate officer, said the firm was set to announce its decision within the next six months.

And he underscored the importance of the renewables project to the firm and its growth and investment strategy.

“We are doing a huge amount of work in East Anglia and we have already started to create a lot of value delivering £15m worth of contracts in the local economy,” he said.

“It’s a massively important project for us as an organisation – it’s our biggest potential renewables investment across the group.

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“Our first project will support up to 2,700 jobs, and we are looking at 20 years operational and maintenance work on the back of that investment.”

“We will be making an announcement [about the port] this year,” he added. “We put a massive amount of investment into Belfast harbour.”

The news came as its parent compnay Iberdola reported a 2% dip in net profits to £1.5bn for the first half of the year in the wake of tax rises in Spain, and the costs of energy efficiency programmes in the UK.

But Mr Anderson said ScottishPower stood ready to invest £10bn in the UK if the government could provide the right framework on issues such as strike prices.

“We can invest £10bn between now and 2020 in the UK,” he added. “What better way of getting the UK out of recession than investing that £10bn in the UK energy system.

“Over £400m tax is being paid to the UK government, I think that shows the value of what we do as a company... and what we can do to help the economy.”