Iberdrola picks up pace in the development of offshore wind power. The Spanish company has begun construction in the United Kingdom of its seventh offshore wind farm worldwide, the East Anglia Three. The plant is expected to start production in 2025 and will have a capacity of 1,400 megawatts (MW), enough to supply 1.3 million homes with clean energy.
This new facility, located off the coast of Norfolk (near the London metropolitan area), will form part of the East Anglia Hub macro-complex , which will consist of this farm and the future developments of East Anglia One North and East Anglia Two, in addition to the farm that the company already operates through its subsidiary Scottish Power in the same area(East Anglia One, with 714 MW). The English macro-complex is the group's largest initiative of this technology in the world and represents a total investment of 6.5 billion pounds (around 7.7 billion euros) for the installation of 3,000 megawatts of clean energy.
In addition to East Anglia One, Iberdrola has commissioned the West of Duddon Sands facility (195 MW) in the Irish Sea and Wikinger (350 MW) in German waters of the Baltic Sea. And it has three other large offshore facilities under construction, in France (Saint-Brieuc with almost 500 MW of capacity), in the United States (Vineyard Wind 1 with 806 MW) and in Germany (Baltic Eagle with 476 MW). In Germany, a third offshore project, Windanker (300 MW), is also planned in addition to Wikinger and Baltic Eagle. Together, the three renewable facilities will give rise to the largest offshore wind complex in the Baltic Sea, with a total installed capacity of 1,100 MW.
The electricity company headed by Ignacio Sánchez Galán wants to spearhead the development of offshore wind power, which still has no presence in Spain, just as it did with the promotion of onshore wind power two decades ago. Thus, of the 7,000 MW of wind power currently under construction or secured with long-term contracts (known as PPAs), more than 5,500 MW (78.5%) correspond to offshore projects. This technology has already contributed 30% of the group's new installed capacity at the end of the first half of the year.
More than 100 windmills
East Anglia Three will cover an area of up to 305 square kilometers and will require the installation of more than a hundred new-generation wind turbines, which will be up to 247 meters high, the equivalent of two and a half times the size of Big Ben (96 meters). This large electrical infrastructure will also include four offshore substations, an offshore platform that will house the operations accommodation and four submarine cables for exporting the energy produced by the wind farm, located 69 kilometers offshore, to the coast.
The company says the construction of the East Anglia hub will provide a significant boost to the supply chain related to the offshore wind industry in the UK and Europe and will create up to 7,000 jobs.