Construction of 17 more wind turbines due to start in 2015
It was one of the first large offshore wind farms in the UK to be built, constructed in 2005 with up to five rows of 6MW wind turbines covering an area of 10 km² just outside the Thames Estuary. Now, Vattenfall has received permission from the UK government to extend it by adding 17 more turbines which are due to be constructed in 2015.
The Development Consent Order from the Energy Secretary means that the company can expand its engagement with the local and UK supply chains as it develops a forward programme for installation and operation. The Kent Flats Extension (KFE) will deliver up to 51MW of installed capacity in addition to the 90MW capacity already being delivered. This could meet the electricity demand of around 35,000 households and a total of 96,000 in combination with the turbines currently operating. In terms of costs, the KFE could cost more than £150 million to install depending on the number of turbines actually deployed.
“We welcome the Secretary of State’s timely decision” said Goran Loman, Vattenfall’s Project Manager for KFE. “Kentish Flats Extension will make a major contribution to generation from Vattenfall’s large fleet of offshore wind capacity in UK waters and help the delivery of UK climate change and renewable energy obligations. The decision is good news for businesses in and around Whitstable and Herne Bay. We have already engaged with well over 100 local companies and we hope that many of them will win business from the £150 million plus investment.”
Vattenfall is working with the local airport, Manston International, to address challenges presented by the wind farm to radar operations and assuming a successful outcome construction will commence in 2015.