The largest wind farm in Iberdrola’s history.
East Anglia ONE is the offshore windfarm in which ScottishPower Renewables’ invested £2billion as part of R3. ScottishPower Renewables completed the installation and commissioning of its East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All 102 offshore wind turbines – situated 43km off the Suffolk coast – are now fully operational, with the capacity to produce 714MW of clean energy. Each year, the windfarm will produce enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of more than 630,000 homes.
Around 20 per cent of the turbine installation and around half the turbine connection work was completed during lockdown, with ScottishPower Renewables and its project partners transforming how they worked to get the job done. This included switching to a higher number of smaller vessels, creating crew ‘households’ who lived and worked together at all times, introducing new welfare protocols and minimising crew changes.
This comprehensive approach allowed the project to be completed on time, creating a source of vital green energy to keep homes, businesses and communities powered during the crisis and beyond. East Anglia ONE will now play a major part in contributing to the UK’s target of meeting net zero by 2050.
Womble Bond Dickinson was instructed to:
- Secure consent for EA1, advising on the pre-application process, reviewing the development consent application and advising on the examination process by means of both written submissions and appearance at hearings
- Offer offshore transmission advice
- Conclude the Real Estate deal and advise on the sale to the secondary market.
East Anglia ONE was one of the first offshore wind projects to be developed within a designated zone. It broke new legal ground by becoming the first project that built part of the infrastructure for future projects. It consented the ducting for what were then known as East Anglia Three and Four.
Approaching the consenting for the ducting in this way meant that future projects would have a vastly reduced impact on the environment and on local communities by avoiding the need for more than one duct laying operation and limiting onshore work on future projects to pulling cables through the pre-installed ducts.
It was also reflected in the real estate documents: the cable corridors were allowed to co-exist in the same strip, allowing you to draw down up to three easements. This was the first offshore wind project that was structured in this way and greatly simplified the documentation.
Legally speaking, the concept was novel because it was unclear whether a project could “oversize” by including infrastructure for a future project as associated development. Our work had a major influence on the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG, now the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) guidance on associated development being changed to make clear that this form of oversizing was acceptable.