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.