Development of major offshore wind farms off Norfolk and Suffolk is rapidly becoming a reality following a key announcement by the Crown Estate, said Johnathan Reynolds, Director of Nautilus Associates, who is also in charge of business development at OrbisEnergy.
“These are very exciting times, and after years of these projects being on the horizon they are now within touching distance,” Reynolds said.
His comment came after the Crown Estate, which manages the seabed around the UK, announced that it had reached agreements with three developers – ScottishPower Renewables, Vattenfall and DONG Energy – on new projects and changes within their respective zones.
Reynolds said Crown Estate’s announcement was a significant boost for the region, coming hot on the heels of recent major announcements on the investment at Great Yarmouth port to support the construction of East Anglia One, and the offshore services contract for the Galloper project being awarded to OrbisEnergy tenant, James Fisher Marine Services.
“The region has been anticipating these schemes for some time, but this new Crown Estate commitment means they are now fast becoming a reality,” Reynolds said. “This is welcome news for offshore wind in the East of England, which in the years to come will see billions of pounds worth of investment in energy, thousands of jobs during construction and hundreds in longer term operations and maintenance.
“It will give even greater confidence to investors and supply chain businesses across the region that offshore wind is here, and will be for decades to come.
“East Anglia ONE has previously said that its presence at OrbisEnergy was a key influence to it securing permission to develop, and we look forward to continuing to support ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall through the development of these new projects off the region’s coast.
“OrbisEnergy is a major catalyst for the sector and will be supporting local businesses as they explore the huge opportunities being presented by these major projects.”
Jonathan Cole, managing director for offshore wind at ScottishPower Renewables, told the East of England Energy Group’s SNS2016 conference last week that offshore wind farms would be built off the East Anglia coast for the next decade.
The water depth off the East of England was perfect for building wind farms, enabling developers to standardise and industrialise offshore wind to drive opportunity up and drive costs down, he said.