Iberdrola will roll its three remaining East Anglia UK offshore wind projects into a single 3.1GW, £6.5bn ($8.4bn) mega-development that it says will be finished by 2026, selling power with or without British government contract-for-difference (CfD) deals.

The East Anglia Hub will unite the EA1 North, and EA2 and EA3, previously envisaged as distinct projects, into a single development with a combined procurement programme “to leverage their scale with a continuous installation programme” from 2022.

The news comes after the 1.2GW EA3 lost out in the last round of UK CfD auctions, outgunned by the 3.6GW Equinor/SSE Dogger Bank project that took the lion’s share of capacity awarded at record low prices.

Jonathan Cole, Iberdrola’s global offshore wind manager, said the Spanish group expects “the East Anglia Hub to be a key part of the UK’s decarbonisation plans, regardless of whether that power will be sold via government backed contracts or private power sales arrangements”.

Developers missing out on CfDs in the UK market are increasingly looking to other options including corporate power deals or selling electricity on the merchant market, as they seek other routes forward for their projects.

Iberdrola’s ScottishPower Renewables unit already has planning consent for the 1.4GW EA3, with applications submitted for the other two. The group’s 714MW EA1 began operating this year off eastern England.

Cole said: “Today we are also setting a challenge to the wider supply chain in the offshore wind sector. If you want larger and more frequent orders, if you want to expand your business, if you want to employ more people, then continue to innovate and continue to engage with projects such as East Anglia Hub.

“We are being ambitious, and we want to work with companies who show similar confidence and appetite.”

The developer hopes to have all suppliers confirmed within 10 months.

The UK looks set to increase its offshore wind goal from the current 30GW by 2030, with both major parties in the forthcoming election promising increases of between 10GW and 27GW.