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East Anglia Offshore Wind, Ltd. To Develop 7.2GW Wind Farm For UK

East Anglia Offshore Wind Ltd., a 50-50 joint venture between Sweden’s state-owned Vattenfall and Spain’s Iberdrola Renovables, a subsidiary of Ibedrola, S.A., has been awarded development rights for the East Anglia Array, a 7.2 gigawatt wind farm off the eastern coast of the United Kingdom. The license is one of nine awarded last week by the Crown Estate, which owns much of the coastal seabed in the region.

The array, which would be built in phases, has the potential to supply power roughly equivalent to the demand of four to five million UK households. Ibedrola Renovables’ subsidiary ScottishPower Renewables will collaborate with Vattenfall on the project.

Vattenfall already owns the 90MW Kentish Flats wind farm off Herne Bay, Kent, and expects to complete the Thanet offshore wind farm, a 300 MW array comprised of 100 3MW Vestas V90 wind turbines, sometime this year. The Thanet array lies approximately 12km off Foreness Point, also in Kent. Upon completion, it will be the worlds largest offshore wind farm until the East Anglia Array is completed.

The United Kingdom is a signatory to the European Union Renewable Energy Directive, and plans to source at least 15% of its final energy consumption, calculated on a net calorific basis and including a cap on air transport fuel consumption, from renewable sources by 2020. Last year, the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published its Renewable Energy Strategy (RES) for 2010-2020. As of 2008, renewables represented approximately 2% of the UK’s energy mix.

ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall are scheduled to submit the first planning application in 2012, with construction beginning as early as 2015. Ibedrola, S.A. and Vattenfall are, respectively, the third and fifth largest energy companies in Europe.

—Jack Rosebro

Comments

clett

7.2 GW in a single offshore windfarm is a sign of things to come here in the UK.

The UK government has already committed to development of 33 GW of offshore wind, mainly off the West coast.

For comparison, the average UK electricity demand is 44 GW.

Simodul

The problem with wind farms is that the 7.2 GW figure is a maximum: when all turbines are giving maximum possible output. That nearly never happens.
But it's still very good. Even if it only gives 3 GW power on average, that's still about 7% the average UK consumption today (thanks clett for the figure). And 7% is a good start to go up to 20%.

Account Deleted

The UK is extremely serious about expanding off-shore wind power and it will result in more economic solutions in the future.

Currently off-shore wind power cost about 3B USD per GW installed and on-shore wind power cost about 1.5B USD per GW installed. Also currently off-shore wind power is considerably more expensive to maintain and operate than on-shore wind power. It is many times more expensive to fix a problem at sea than at land.

However, three important issues make off-shore wind farms preferable to on-shore wind farms and they are:

1) It is far easier to get permission to build an off-shore wind farm than an on-shore wind farm. Many economically healthy on-shore wind farms are nixed solely because enough local people think the wind turbines look ugly in the landscape.

2) The wind generally blows stronger at sea. Typically off-shore wind farms produce 30% more electricity per installed GW than on-shore wind farms.

3) Size is not a limit at sea. Wind turbines at land will not get much bigger than 3MW per turbine simply because it cost too much to transport larger turbines to their final destination from their factory. At sea this is not an issue and this is the most important reason that we should continue to push for more off-shore wind farms. The price is destined to go down per installed GW as the turbines at sea get bigger.

Arne

Henrik,

Another point you could add is that the variability at sea is less.

To expand on your point 1 (the Nimby's). Local resistance against windfarms is especially strong in the UK.

There is an interesting video of George Monbiot taking Shaun Spiers (Campaign to Protect Rural England) to task for vehemently opposing almost any planned windfarm, while at the same time completely ignoring the very destructive open cast coal mines, a practice still literally destroying many square miles of rural England.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXFcOBDZ9Ds

Imo this once more illustrates how people accept without questioning anything that was there when they were born.

Account Deleted

Anne

That link / interview is quite telling. It is also one of those experiences that are making me more skeptical about the idea that what goes on in this world is mostly governed by rational consideration. Most people are governed by emotions and habit more than anything else.

I have been surprised to see how much the UK want the sea based wind farms considering their current and hefty price premium compared to on-shore wind farms. However, one reason for this besides the Nimby argument is also that the oil and gas industry get to do almost half of the business regarding the off-shore wind farms as this industry is contracted to build the very expensive foundations for the off-shore wind turbines. The off-shore UK oil and gas industry is in rapid decline so they need a new market and off-shore wind farms comes at the right time for that industry. My point is that this industry is better at lobbying than the wind turbine industry.

IMO there is a very good chance that off-shore wind farms can be made cost competitive in the future. 6MW turbines or bigger will both lower the cost per MW for the turbines and for their foundations. Moreover, gearless wind turbines possibly with superconductive generators could make off-shore turbines practically maintenance fee so that they can avoid costly repairs at sea. Finally, new and specialized ships to transport and install wind turbines and foundations at sea will also reduce construction cost.

HarveyD

One can wonder why the majority is so deadly opposed to just about any form of e-energy plants while the very same people consume more and more energy every year. This is plain un-democratic nonsense.

That being the case, the only possible solution would be to drastically reduce e-energy consumption by all available means, such as:

1) progressively ban the use of lighting fixture with less than 150 lm/watt.

PS: This could be increased to 300 lm/watt when new higher efficiency LED become available.

2) progressively ban the use of resistive heaters and air conditionners in favour of ultra high efficiency dual cycles heat pumps with more than SEER 26.

3) ban the use of doors and windows with less than R-9 insulation.

4) ban the use of building walls with less than R-40 insultaion, ceiling and floors with less than R-60 insulation.

5) mandate the compulsory use of high efficiency (85+%) HRV units in all residences.

6) mandate the use of higher efficiency appliances, TVs, PCs etc.

7) establish new e-enery rates using a malus-bonus system. Lower and raise the Kwh price of e-energy based on per inhabitant under & over average consumption. Normal rate would apply for people with normal average consumption. A progressively much higher rate (+10% to +400%) would apply for people using above average. The reverse would apply (-10% to -80%) for people using less than average.

Consumption could go down by more than 50% over 5 to 10 years and no new e-energy plants would be required.

SJC

A bit off topic, but Southern California Edison is 20% renewable. They subsidize CFL bulbs in stores at $1 a piece. The idea of using energy more wisely and using more renewable energy is something that has been gaining favor for decades.

We can have a nice lifestyle without wasting so much fossil fuel. This concept has been a long time coming and thank goodness has finally become more accepted. Save the fossil fuels as a reserve. The best use of fossil fuel is making renewable energy. It is good for us, the planet and our economies.

HarveyD

SJC:

We have similar schemes for new appliances (up to $100 ea), electronic programmable thermostat ($10 ea), CFL up to $25 per household etc. House insulation + better windows + doors + heat pumps (tax credits, up to $1350 FED + $7500 Prov.)

Our area is 98% hydro e-energy. Over 80% of all residences use clean electric heating. The above programs have reduced e-nergy consumption during the last 3 years + completely offset the energy required for the 45,000 new residences a year. The cost is mostly paid by the large hydro enterprise and recovered by a yearly minor rate increase, specially large above average users. In other words, heavy consummers pay for most of the program because hydro rates go up (not down) with higher consumption.

SJC

It would be interesting if heavy users of gasoline like the 10 mpg SUVs had to pay more per gallon. Someone using twice as much fuel as everyone else drives up the price of fuel and makes it less available.

Henry Gibson

Yes we are destroying vast areas of pristine ocean environment to save the environment. ..HG..

Henry Gibson

Every offical who votes for wind power should be required to supply all of his own energy with wind. He is fraudulently pretending that such a thing can work, but none would be built without public subsidies both hidden and obvious. The obvious hidden subsidy is the power grid facilities not paid for by the owners of wind farms to make up for the lack of wind power when needed. Every owner of wind farms and promoters should be required to only use windpower, and have their lights go out and their cars stop when their is none. Cogeneration is a less capital demanding and subsidy demanding and reliable method of reducing CO2 and energy use. ..HG..

Henry Gibson

How about more energy funding to established churches so that more people will pray fo renewable manna. ..HG..

Arne

Not one, but three! brain farts from Henry.

Are you a salesman of CHP units?

Scott

Yet there is also the potential for on-site generation from new and exisityng homes via solar and wind, linked perhaps to an electrolyser to convert any electricity that isn't needed into Hydrogen for use later, either for the home or for the car etc. All you need is somewhere to put the electrolyser and the tank.

An other idea - adopted in Untah - how about changing the 35 hour working week from 5 days to 4 - that's 20% less commuting, 20% less time travelling and better weekends - win-win!

SJC

Four day work weeks, telecommuting, building affordable housing closer to jobs, there are lot of ideas that can reduce fuel consumption. We just have not put it into one systematic package and actually DONE it.

Tim Duncan

No body wants to live in a social engineered world with "one systematic package" of solutions, gag. That is why it will never happen except maybe an experiment in in Calif. The real world is more complex and interesting thank God.

SJC

I never said everyone had to do them, but if a lot of these ideas were put together and supported by business and individuals we could actually save a lot of fuel.

Or we could continue to have everyone do their own thing, not work together and become even more dependent on foreign oil. I don't call sending 500 billion dollars out of the country every year for oil... freedom.

Will S

Tim, we have too many challenges to not have a full basket of solutions including the ones SJC mentioned. To go on like we have been would be ignoring too many critical risks.

sulleny

While wind power is a necessary component of any alternative energy portfolio, the larger projects do have negative impacts on environment. It's one thing to put a wind farm in a desert or offshore, another to build one in pristine wildlife areas like Maine's Redington Project.

http://www.maineaudubon.org/act/060713_redington2.shtml

In these cases it's better to look closely at new types of nukes (thorium) eg, or NG turbines with excess heat utilization. So far we have no real good models for wind replacing baseload demand. But they are still a viable alternative in some conditions.

Tom Watson

onstruction beginning as early as 2015. Ibedrola, S.A. and Vattenfall are, respectively, the third and fifth largest energy companies in Europe. Orange County dryer repair 

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