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18 December 2012, 12:41 | Updated: 18 December 2012, 12:52
Planning permission has gone in to build the biggest UK wind farm off coast of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
If the plan gets approved it could mean 1600 construction jobs, 170 operating jobs and the potential to be worth £500 million to the East Anglian economy.
The development, known as East Anglia ONE, will require up to 325 wind turbines and covers an area of 300km2 in the southern North Sea around 24 miles off the east coast of Suffolk and Norfolk. The project will be able to power the annual electricity demands of around 770,000 homes.
It is thought that the development, the first of six potential projects in the East Anglia Zone, could support up to 2,700 jobs across the UK during the construction phase, representing more than £170m for the UK economy for each year of construction. More than 1,600 construction jobs could be supported in the East Anglia region alone, adding over £100m to the regional economy annually during construction.
The planning application will be considered by the National Infrastructure Directorate. If approved, it is anticipated that onshore construction could begin in 2016, with offshore work starting in 2017 and first power generation achieved in 2018.
Andy Paine, EAOW Programme Director, said:
“We are delighted to have achieved this major milestone today, following three years of detailed planning and community consultation. East Anglia ONE is a major project that could make a significant contribution to the UK’s carbon reduction targets, and is larger than any offshore windfarm currently in operation.
“Developments like this not only make a substantial contribution to the environment, they also have a significant positive impact on both the local and national economy. Thousands of skilled jobs will be required to construct and manage a project on this scale, which highlights the importance of the offshore wind sector for the UK economy following the recession. Offshore wind will support a new supply chain that will attract billions of pounds of investment and create highly- skilled employment in the engineering and construction sectors for decades.'