Suffolk: Views wanted on major offshore wind farm

ENERGY bosses will soon be launching a major consultation on plans to build a giant wind farm off the Suffolk and Norfolk coast.

ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) and Vattenfall unveiled their ambitious proposals last year.

The 50-50 joint venture hopes to develop, build and operate up to 7.2 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity in the 6,000sq km zone.

This would generate enough electricity to power more than five million homes and create hundreds of jobs.

The project will be created in six phases and the first – called East Anglia One – will be built about 43km (about 25miles) off the Suffolk coast and will cover an area of 300 sq km.

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It will be made up of about 420 turbines creating 1.2GW of electricity – enough for about 800,000 homes.

Next week sees the launch of a consultation exercise with bosses keen to hear from members of the public.

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Plans on how the East Anglia One team will engage with communities and other interested parties will be on show at two public information days.

They are happening at the Orbis Energy Centre in Wilde Street, Lowestoft, from 3pm-7pm on Wednesday and Ipswich Town Football Club in Portman Road, Ipswich, between the same hours on the following day. The project development team will be on-hand to answer questions and to hear people’s thoughts.

David Walker, development director, said: “We are launching this consultation as it is really important that the community and all those with an interest in the East Anglia One project get involved and tell us what they think.

“Your opinion and views are crucial for the development of East Anglia One and this is an opportunity to speak to the project team.”

If all goes to plan, then construction of East Anglia One could start in 2015.

Agreements have already been signed to connect the electricity to the National Grid through a substation at Bramford, near Ipswich, and at Lowestoft and Norwich, while bosses have said they are keen to try to keep connections underground.

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