Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark has given the green light for ScottishPower to build the second phase of its windfarm, which lies 42 miles away from the Norfolk coastline.
The new project should be capable of generating 1.2 GW of electricity by 2025 – enough to power almost a million homes.
ScottishPower’s original windfarm on the site is the cheapest built so far, but at a guaranteed generation price of £119 per MWh, it is more than double the typical wholesale price and substantially more than the subsidy promised to EDF for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, which has been criticised for its cost.
The new windfarm promises to be more efficient, however, thanks to its 172 next-generation turbines that could be up to 247 metres (810 feet) high. This would mean they would be taller than any building in London with the exception of The Shard, which is currently the tallest building in the European Union.
ScottishPower Renewables says it aims to make offshore wind “one of the cheapest forms of low carbon electricity”. This will be put the test as it competes against Denmark’s Dong Energy, which has also been scaling up its offshore turbines to cut generation costs.
Keith Anderson, the company’s CEO, expressed how the wind sector has met every challenge to progress at a rapid pace. Lubrication has also played its part, with manufacturers like ExxonMobil, the maker of industrial lubricants like Mobil Velocite 3, developing new lubricants to meet ever harsher conditions.