Board approves build of £150m offshore wind farm extension

Vattenfall is to build a 15 turbine offshore wind farm off the coast of Kent.

The company’s 49.5MW Kentish Flats Extension (KFE), consented by the UK government’s energy secretary earlier this year, has gained a final investment decision from the Vattenfall board of directors to deliver the energy scheme.

Vattenfall claims KFE will generate the equivalent power used by 42,000 UK households, in addition to the existing 30 turbine Kentish Flats Offshore Wind Farm.

Onshore works are scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of 2014 with turbine installation taking place from the second quarter of 2015.

Located 8km off Whitstable and Herne Bay, the 15 turbines are predicted to have an annual production of 180,000MWh and will be in service for 20 years from the date of first power.

Commissioning of the turbines – each rated at 3.3MW, with a rotor diameter of 112m and tip height of 139.6m  – will commence between the fourth quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.

Matthew Green, Vattenfall’s project manager for the scheme, said: ‘Vattenfall’s decision to invest around £150mn in Kentish Flats Extension is the final hurdle that needs to be cleared before construction can start…We will now complete a period of intense detailed engineering and planning for the construction phase in 2015.’

Peter Wesslau, Vattenfall’s UK country manager, said: ‘Since May this year we have promised to invest, in total, more than £600mn in two onshore wind power schemes and now offshore with Kentish Flats Extension. The UK is currently one of the most attractive places in Europe to invest in wind power and we are keen to continue building our business here.’