Gigawatt boost for British windfarmsTaken from: Offshore Wind Journal Newsdesk 31 August 2012
Britain’s ability to generate electricity from offshore wind took a huge step forward in July with the government’s announcement that it has given the go-ahead for the construction of two large windfarms off the eastern coast of England.
Between them, Race Bank and Dudgeon windfarms off the coast of Norfolk will power more than 730,000 homes with clean electricity, bringing £3 billion of investment to Britain and creating hundreds of jobs. The massive capacity of each, Race Bank’s 580 megawatts (MW) and Dudgeon’s 560MW, will add more than a gigawatt (GW) to Britain’s offshore wind sector. The UK already has more offshore wind energy installed than the rest of the world put together. These two projects will see that capacity increase by more than half as much again.
Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy, said: “The UK is racing ahead of the global field and these two new offshore windfarms underline this momentum. These two projects will not only bring us considerable amounts of clean energy, but significant investment and jobs too. We have also shown that we are mindful of other consequences, such as the impact on bird populations, in deciding that it would not be appropriate to consent all three applications.”
Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK’s chief executive, said: “This decision is a tremendous boost for the offshore wind energy sector, creating hundreds of jobs, stimulating billions of pounds worth of investment and setting the UK firmly on the path of reaching its 2020 renewable energy targets.
“In total we now have close to 6.6GW of offshore projects operational, in construction and with planning consent. This is a globally unrivalled pipeline of offshore windfarms, which has attracted significant investor interest from around the world. Given the completion of Round 1 and excellent progress of Round 2, what now needs to follow is a decisive push to get the first of the Round 3 projects through planning.”