The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark has granted planning consent to ScottishPower Renewables’ 1.2GW East Anglia 3 wind farm off the UK’s Suffolk coast.
SPR said the consent will allow for the installation of “larger and more efficient next generation turbines”, up to a tip height of 247 metres.
The company said it will now start work on preparing the project for the next phase.
Construction of EA3 would start in about 2022, with the project up and running by 2025, if it is successful in a future Contracts for Difference auction process, SPR said.
It added that the wind farm will require up to four offshore collector and two offshore converter stations, as well as an offshore platform housing accommodation facilities.
As many as four subsea export cables will transmit electricity from the offshore platforms to shore at Bawdsey, with up to four interconnector cables linking EA3 to EA1.
Onshore, up to four cables will be pulled through existing ducting, which will be laid for EA1, and run for approximately 37km from landfall to the connection point at Bramford in Suffolk.
SPR chief executive Keith Anderson said: “With the support of a highly-skilled supply chain, East Anglia 3 will further enhance the UK’s leading position in offshore wind.”
RenewableUK executive director Emma Pinchbeck said: “Today’s announcement is a vote of confidence in the UK’s world-leading offshore wind sector.
“The project is expected to create thousands of skilled jobs throughout its 30-year lifetime.
“Not only will the wind farm use the latest, innovative turbines, but it will also provide a massive boost for local businesses to grow.”
A planning decision had been expected in June, but was pushed back due to delays caused by the UK General Election.
The Planning Inspectorate sent its recommendations on the project to Clark on 28 March.
SPR’s proposed East Anglia 3 features up to 172 turbines in an area of 305 square km in the northern portion of the EA zone.
The developer is currently working on the zone’s 714MW first phase, which will feature Siemens Gamesa 7MW turbines to be installed in 2019.