ScottishPower Renewables awards major contract for East Anglian One windfarm project
- Credit: Chris James
The East Anglia One wind farm project off the coast of Suffolk has taken another major step forward with the award of a contract to transport and install foundation “jackets” for the turbines.
ScottishPower Renewables has contracted marine engineering specialist Van Oord and Great Yarmouth-based Seajacks to carry out the work, which will involve Seajacks’ installation vessel Scylla, the largest and most advanced of its kind in the world working in offshore wind.
The contract will support 140 current jobs with Seajacks and allow the company to create up to 75 new roles, representing a further boost to the East Anglian economy from the project.
Standing more than 65 metres tall and weighing more than 845 tonnes, the three-legged steel jacket structures will support the towers, the nacelle (the streamlined outer casing) and the blades of the turbines.
Seajacks will recruit at least five new local apprentices as part of the contract, which will see the Scylla engaged on the project for at least six months, starting in April 2018.
The Scylla, which is capable of working in water depths of up to 65m and has a load capacity of nearly 9,000 tonnes, will work in tandem with Van Oord’s Svanen vessel, which recently installed the monopiles and transition pieces for the Burbo Bank Extension project in Liverpool Bay.
The £2.5bn East Anglia One project, located around 28 miles offshore, south-east of Lowestoft, will generate 714megawatt of electricity when completed in 2020, enough to power 500,000 homes per year.
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ScottishPower Renewables says it will be the most cost-efficient offshore wind farm yet built and is leading the way to meet the UK Government’s cost reduction targets for green energy.
A price of £119 per megawatt hour was agreed after a competitive auction process run by the Government, and is more than 15% lower than other offshore wind projects in construction elsewhere in the UK.
Jonathan Cole, managing director of offshore wind at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “Seajacks are a world-leading offshore installation company who are based in East Anglia, so we are especially pleased that we were able to secure their services for our project. The additional jobs and training opportunities that this contract will create locally is important for our project.
“East Anglia one continues to make excellent progress. We are now starting preparations for the onshore work, as well as ensuring all of the plans are in place for the offshore work.
“The project will be the best value offshore wind farm ever constructed, at the same time as delivering industry-leading levels of UK content. We are proud that the project is encouraging investment and supporting highly skilled jobs in Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Hull and Belfast.”
ScottishPower Renewables has agreed with Associated British Ports (ABP) to use the Port of Lowestoft as its construction management base when building starts later this year and the Suffolk town is also be the long-term operational base for East Anglia One once the installation process is completed.
This will involved an investment by ScottishPower Renewables of around £25m to upgrade the port and surrounding harbour so that it can serve as the main operations and maintenance hub for the 30-year lifetime of the project, contributing an estimated £80m and £100m to the area’s economy between now and 2050.