The East Anglia One energy project, which will see the construction of 102 wind turbines, has been confirmed as the government suffered a fresh defeat over the scrapping of subsidies for new onshore wind farms.
The project between ScottishPower Renewables and Siemens will result in the construction of 102 seven megawatt (MW) turbines 30 miles off the coast in the North Sea, designed to power more than 500,000 homes per year.
The 75-metre long turbine blades are scheduled for fabrication in Siemens’ new factory in Hull and £5m is set to be invested in Great Yarmouth Harbour, which will act as the pre-assembly port for the installation of the turbines.
Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “East Anglia One is the first of up to four projects we would like to build in the southern North Sea and we hope that our plans will stimulate jobs and investment for the UK and across the region for decades to come.”
Meanwhile, the government has been defeated in the Lords over proposed changes to the Energy Bill. They have instead backed a new opposition amendment to allow a handful of projects given initial planning permission in Scotland to go ahead.
Voting was 270 to 220, majority 50, for the change, which will prolong the bout of ‘parliamentary ping pong’ between both Houses.
Peers first deleted proposals from the Bill last year which would scrap the subsidies a year earlier than originally planned, only for the government to reinsert them when the legislation returned to the Commons.
The Lords has now voted to allow grace period extensions for onshore wind developments for up to three months beyond the cut-off date of 18 June last year, benefiting several schemes in Scotland.
Britain’s future energy supply is currently a point of contention among MPs, with a large number of coal and power stations shutting down in recent years and only one replacement power plant, the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, in the running for construction in the near future.
However, Hinkley Point has been beset by delays, with French energy firm EDF struggling to raise the money required for its construction and the prospect of legal action from the EU if state aid is granted to help the project along.
EDF officials are being called back to Parliament to explain the delay to a group of MPs from The Energy and Climate Change Committee.
Angus MacNeil, chairman of the Committee, said: "When EDF appeared before us in March, company bosses were insisting that a decision would be made in May.
"At that hearing we said that we would call them back in if that timetable slipped again and that's what we are doing now,” he explained in reference to the recent admission that the decision will now not be made until September.
"If Hinkley does not go ahead it could have huge implications for our future energy security and efforts to cut climate-changing emissions."