North Sea wind farms: First turbines fitted on East Anglia One

Wind turbine installation Image copyright ALAN O'NEILL
Image caption The turbines at East Anglia One are taller than the Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament which houses Big Ben

The first turbines have been installed at one of the world's largest offshore wind farms off the UK's east coast.

When construction is completed next year, East Anglia One will provide enough power for nearly 600,000 homes.

The first four of 102 turbines have been shipped out of Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, to be fitted at sea with three 75m-long blades.

Project director Charlie Jordan, of ScottishPower Renewables, called it a "very important milestone".

The £2.5bn project has been in development for a decade, with 100 jobs to be created at the £25m operations and maintenance base in Lowestoft, Suffolk, once it is fully operational.

"East Anglia One is already providing a significant boost to the local economy with over £70m being committed to date to companies across the East of England and further opportunities as the project becomes operational," said Mr Jordan.

Image caption The East Anglia One zone is about 30 miles off the Suffolk coast
Image caption The windfarm was described as "a powerful symbol of... a green industrial revolution" by the deputy leader of Norfolk County Council

Industry leaders in Great Yarmouth hope the town can become known as a renewable energy hub, serving other major projects in the southern North Sea.

Port director Richard Goffin said: "It is fantastic to see the investment into offshore renewables being made in our region.

"With the industry booming, and recent announcements made by the Crown Estate on potential future expansion, Great Yarmouth is at the forefront of the offshore sector, with tremendous potential to grow."

Peel Ports has invested £12m in extending Great Yarmouth's outer harbour to accommodate offshore projects, with further expansion planned.

Graham Plant, deputy leader of Norfolk County Council, said the wind farm was "a powerful symbol of how we are all working together on a green industrial revolution which will transform Great Yarmouth's future, boost Norfolk's economy and play our part in tackling climate change."

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