lans to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm off Britain’s coast are to go ahead, it was announced today. Comprising of about 90 square miles, it will be built 12 miles off the coasts of Kent and Essex to the east of London in the Thames Estuary aPower giant E.ON said the first phase of the London Array project will
start later this year and it could be generating power in time for the
The project had been on a knife-edge, but increased support for
renewable energy announced in the recent Budget led to today’s
E.ON and its partners Dong Energy and Masdar said they will invest
£2billion in building the first 630 megawatt phase of wind farm in the
Onshore work is now due to start in the summer,
with offshore work due to begin in early 2011. Once complete, the
scheme will be the world’s largest, and the first 1 gigawatt offshore
The project will supply enough power for around 750,000 homes – a
quarter of all those in Greater London – and displace the emission of
1.9 million tonnes of CO2 every year.
John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, said: ‘Cutting-edge
projects like the London Array will help generate clean, secure energy,
and they’ll generate thousands of British jobs.
‘The UK has the
best renewable energy resources in Europe, and the know-how to harvest
it. The London Array should be the start of a major expansion of
offshore wind to help power Britain.
‘The Government now needs to remove the hurdles that have stopped the faster development of the wind industry.’
of the Earth executive director Andy Atkins was equally enthusiastic.
He said: ‘It’s fantastic news that the UK will be home to the world’s
largest offshore wind farm.
‘London Array will cut UK emissions, reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and create hundreds of new green jobs.
‘The UK has the best offshore wind resource in Europe. Ministers
must ensure that more projects like this are developed so that Britain
reaps the huge employment, business and environmental benefits of
clean, green energy.
‘This must include a new super-grid to
ensure we get maximum benefit from offshore energy, and greater efforts
to make sure that turbines are built in Britain – not imported from
The firms behind the project said in a statement: ‘The
partners are satisfied that the project is now financially viable and
are now keen to push ahead with construction and to produce the first
renewable power in 2012.’
E.ON chief executive Dr Wulf
Bernotat said: ‘I’m delighted that work can now get under way on the
world’s largest offshore wind farm.
‘The start of London Array
will mark a key milestone in our roadmap as we continue with our
ambitious strategy to take renewables to an industrial level.
this pioneering scheme, we see a significant increase in scale for
offshore wind and also for E.ON as we aim to become the world’s largest
offshore wind farm developer.
‘Today’s announcement is proof
that, if all interested parties work together, renewable power can be
taken to its next level and so make a real difference to the fight
against climate change.’
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:
‘The London Array is a flagship project in our drive to cut emissions
by 80 per cent by 2050 and meet future energy needs. The UK is a world
leader in offshore wind farms, creating jobs and prosperity for the
‘That’s why we have increased our support for this technology as we move towards a low carbon future.’
and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: ‘This is another green
light for green energy. It’s a vote of confidence in the support the
Government has put into backing renewable energy.
‘The UK is
already the world’s leading offshore wind power and this multi-billion
pound project will help keep us there, cut our carbon emissions and
contribute to secure energy supplies.’
The wind farm will be
installed on a 90 square mile site and will be built in two phases. The
consortium hopes the first phase of 630MW will be completed and
generating in 2012.
The first phase will consist of 175
turbines. The second phase will add enough capacity to bring the total
to 1,000MW, with up to 341 turbines.
Dong Energy is based in Denmark, Masdar is an Abu Dhabi company while E.ON is German-owned.
Hundreds of jobs are expected to be created in the construction phase of the project.
Source: Mail Online