The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide £150 million ($232.5 million) of long-term funding to Vattenfall for the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm.
With 100 wind turbines, each 115 metres tall, and a generating capacity of 300 MW, this is the largest offshore wind farm operating anywhere in the world.
The wind farm, inaugurated in September 2010, is an important step in enabling the United Kingdom to achieve renewable energy targets and generating 15% of energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.
“The Thanet Offshore wind farm demonstrates how offshore wind can achieve economies of scale and make a significant contribution to renewable energy supply,” said Simon Brooks, European Investment Bank Vice President for the UK.
“The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting expansion of the offshore sector to increase experience and drive commercialisation of cutting edge technology,” Brooks said.
For his part, Johan Gyllenhoff, Group Treasurer of Vattenfall, said his company is delighted to secure the EIB’s long-term support “at attractive terms and conditions, providing an alternative to bond markets."
Located 12 kilometres off Foreness Point, the eastern most part of Kent the entire Thanet wind farm covers 35 square kilometres.
Thanet produces enough electricity to supply more than 200,000 homes with clean electricity. European Investment Bank support for the project has been dependent on fulfilment of comprehensive environmental assessments, including evaluation of the project’s potential impact on marine and bird-life.
The European Investment Bank is also expected to fund a transmission link connecting the Thanet wind farm to the national grid.