ScottishPower Renewables said it received planning approval from the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Greg Clark MP, for the East Anglia THREE offshore windfarm with an output capacity of up to 1,200 megawatts (MW).
East Anglia THREE will cover an area of up to 305 square kilometres and will require up to 172 wind turbines to build the full capacity.
ScottishPower is part of the Bilbao-based Iberdrola Group.
The planning consent will allow for the installation of larger and more efficient next generation turbines, up to a tip height of 247 metres — two-and-a-half times the size of Big Ben.
To be built 69 kilometres off the coast of Norfolk, the windfarm could produce enough electricity to power the annual demands of nearly one million homes.
ScottishPower Renewables said it will now start work on preparing the project for the next phase.
The regulatory framework in the UK requires that offshore windfarm developers enter pre-qualified projects into a Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction process, where the most economic projects are selected to receive a contract.
If successful in future CfD auctions, ScottishPower Renewables said it would like to see construction starting around 2022, with the project up and running by 2025.
Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said: “Offshore wind has delivered on its promises from the outset.
“Our sector has met every technical and political challenge, grown the UK’s supply chain, and improved the technology at a rapid pace to allow projects to be deployed in ever harsher conditions.
“At the same time, the level of cost reductions achieved would more commonly be seen in consumer electronics.
“In a little over a decade, our sector has delivered substantial amounts of green electricity for the UK, supported billions of pounds of UK investment and created thousands of high quality jobs.
“With the support of a highly-skilled supply chain, East Anglia THREE will further enhance the UK’s leading position in offshore wind.
“No other sector ticks all of the boxes in its ability to support the Government’s plans for rebalancing the economy and promoting economic diversity through the Industrial Strategy.
“Major contracts are already being delivered in towns and cities spread out all across the UK.
“Offshore wind has supported jobs and investment in Hull, Hartlepool, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth, Grimsby, Teesside, Tyneside, Fife, Machrihanish and Belfast to name but a few.
“Large-scale projects like East Anglia THREE will continue to help to encourage economic regeneration where it is needed most.”
Will Apps, Head of Energy Development at The Crown Estate, said: “It is great to see the East Anglia THREE project pass this significant milestone.
“Through the continued efforts of ScottishPower Renewables, and their industry peers, the UK now benefits from a strong development pipeline of more than 11GW of consented capacity.
“This is in addition to the projects that are already built or are on track to supply 10% of the UK’s electricity demand by 2020.
“The offshore wind industry continues to deliver as a large-scale, affordable and reliable choice for UK power generation.”
ScottishPower Renewables said it is currently delivering the East Anglia ONE project, which has a capacity of 714 MW and is due to be fully operational in 2020.
The company is developing four projects in total in the area, with a capacity of 3,500 MW.