Fluor Corporation has signed a contract worth £900m with Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) to design and construct the 500MW Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm.

The venture is the world's largest offshore wind farm project to move into the construction phase and will be built approximately 25km off the Suffolk coast. Once complete the wind farm will be able to generate enough electricity for more than 415,000 homes.

The Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm Project will feature 140 wind turbines with a rated capacity of 3.6MW each. The turbines will be supplied by Siemens Wind Power under a separate contract with SSE.

Fluor says it will be responsible for the installation of the turbines which will be mounted on steel monopiles and transition pieces in water depths between 24 and 34 metres.

Construction work is scheduled to commence for the offshore site in summer 2009, with work to prepare the site for the onshore substation already underway. The wind farm will be commissioned in two phases, with the entire construction scheduled to be completed in 2011.

The Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm Project has been developed by an equal joint venture between Fluor International and Airtricity, which was acquired by SSE in February 2008. Having completed the development phase and signed the construction contract, Fluor sold its 50 per cent stake in Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds to SSE for approximately £40m.