Firm's wind farm contract

A renewable energy giant behind plans to build a massive wind farm off the East Anglian coast has given a multi-million pound survey contract to a Norfolk firm.

A renewable energy giant behind plans to build a massive wind farm off the East Anglian coast has given a multi-million pound survey contract to a Norfolk firm.

Project partners ScottishPower Renewables, part of global Iberdrola Renovables group, and Vattenfall also said they were “eager to work with local companies throughout the development”.

The first phase of work on the site, planned for about 42km off the coast, has been awarded to Gardline Hydro, based in Great Yarmouth.

The 7.2GW development, to be known as the East Anglia Array, could cover 6,000km sq and provide electricity for five million homes.

It will be built in several sections, with the proposed first project consisting of approximately 240 turbines.

It is proposed that the first project will have the capacity to generate up to 1.2GW of clean, green energy, with planning permission to be sought from 2012 and construction planned for 2015.

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David Walker, development director, said: “ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall are delighted to appoint Gardline Hydro and are eager to work with local companies throughout this development.

“The response we have received locally has been very positive and we continue to learn more about the great facilities and workforce that East Anglia has to offer.”

Two of Gardline's offshore boats, the Confidante and Tridens 1, will carry out extensive geophysical surveys of one section of the development site, working out of Yarmouth.

It is expected to take about three and half months, subject to weather.

John Morse, business development manager for the Yarmouth-based Gardline Marine Sciences Group, of which Gardline Hydro is a division, said they would be using their home port harbour facilities while work is carried out.