World's largest off-shore wind farm project in England gets go ahead

E.ON, DONG Energy and Masdar have been given permission to build what is claimed to be the world's largest offshore wind farm in England: the €2.2 billion London Array. These firms will partner up to build the first 630 MW phase of the array off the coast of Essex and Kent in the outer estuary area of the Thames. Depending on when construction gets underway the scheme's first phase could start producing renewable energy in 2012.

The announcement comes on the back of the UK Government's recent proposal to increase its support for offshore wind power and onshore work is now due to start in the summer, with offshore work planned for early 2011.


Anders Eldrup, CEO of DONG Energy, said: “I’m thrilled that we today also have the final investment decision on the London Array project. The decision to build the London Array offshore wind farm is a very significant cornerstone in DONG Energy’s strategy to increase the proportion of electricity generated from renewable energy sources. DONG Energy has built approximately half of all offshore wind farms in operation in the world today. Entering into the world’s largest offshore wind farm project further strengthens DONG Energy’s leading position in this field.”


Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, said, “The London Array is a flagship project in our drive to cut emissions by 80% by 2050 and meet future energy needs. The UK is a world leader in offshore wind farms, creating jobs and prosperity for the economy. That's why we have increased our support for this technology as we move towards a low carbon future.”


The scheme will be built around 12 miles off the coasts of Kent and Essex, on a 90 square mile site, in two phases. It is claimed that on completion, the scheme be the world's largest, and the first one GW offshore wind farm. The project will supply enough power for approximately 750,000 homes and avoid 1.9m tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.


John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, highlighted that, “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 [in the UK].”



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