Monday, December 18, 2006

World's largest offshore windfarm to be built in the Thames Estuary

There’s been a sea change in the wind direction, so to say. The Government today gave the go-ahead for two major offshore wind farms to be built in the Thames Estuary.

The London Array windfarm will consist of 341 turbines in an area of 145 square miles stretching between Margate in Kent and Clacton in Essex. The £500 million Thanet farm will house a further 100 turbines and could be operational as soon as 2008.

Together the windfarms could deliver 1.3 GW of green electricity, which would be enough to meet the demand of a third of all homes in Greater London.They will make a significant contribution to the Government's ambition - as set out in the Energy Review - to deliver a five-fold increase in the UK's renewable energy resource by 2020.

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Alistair Darling said:
"Britain is second only to Denmark in the offshore wind sector and projects such as the London Array, which will be the biggest in the world when completed, and Thanet underline the real progress that is being made.

Environment Secretary David Miliband added:
"We expect this announcement will be the first of a number of large-scale offshore wind farms in the UK and will provide real impetus for the continued developments in the offshore renewable energy sector that will benefit generations to come.
Both projects consented today will also bring significant economic opportunities to the local communities and to UK businesses.
Full DTI press release

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