Suffolk's East Anglia One £2.5bn wind farm gets green light

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Media captionEnergy firm chief says wind farm go-ahead offers Lowestoft 'opportunity and investment'

Work on a huge wind farm will start next year after a firm gave the final go-ahead on its investment for the £2.5bn project.

Scottish Power Renewables is to build East Anglia One off the Suffolk coast and has said it will generate enough power for 500,000 homes.

Managing director Jonathan Cole said: "It will create huge opportunities for jobs and investment across the region."

Lowestoft will be the operational base after a £25m deal was signed last year.

The 102-turbine offshore wind farm is expected to be fully operational by 2020 and the project will create up to 3,000 jobs in the UK and elsewhere either directly or with contractors.

East Anglia One, which is being built 30 miles (48km) off the coast at Kessingland, is due to be the first and smallest site of four planned for the region by the energy firm.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The site's first turbines should be installed in the North Sea in 2019 and online by 2020

Mr Cole said the developments could bolster Lowestoft and the surrounding area for the next 30 years.

"We will be creating hundreds of high-quality jobs directly employed by us and then thousands of jobs in and around the area servicing those activities, so it means a lot of opportunity and investment for Lowestoft," he said.

"Provided the regulatory environment is correct, we will be building offshore wind projects in the East Anglia region right through the whole of the next decade," he said.

"All of the opportunities we are creating locally can be sustained and multiplied for the next 15 to 30 years."

Once East Anglia One is completed about 100 people will be employed full-time at Lowestoft's port.

The government has awarded the firm a 714 MW contract which guarantees a minimum price for electricity for 15 years.

In a national allocation of contracts, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said it would guarantee £119.89 per MWh of electricity for East Anglia One.

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