E.ON is to construct a 400MW wind farm situated 13km off the Sussex coast following financial commitments to proceed with the project.
The Rampion Offshore Wind Farm represents an investment worth £1.3bn from E.ON and Green Investment Bank (GIB), which has taken a £236m stake in the project.
A total of 116 turbines will occupy the 72km2 wind farm, which is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 600,000 tonnes a year.
In a statement, Tony Cocker, E.ON UK chief executive said: “This is an important milestone for what is a strategically important project for the UK. At around £1.3bn this investment by E.ON and our partners at the Green Investment Bank could be one of the biggest capital projects confirmed in Britain this year.”
Construction of the onshore substation in Twineham is planned to start in June, followed by preparation works for the onshore cable route. Offshore construction will commence in early 2016 with planned completion in 2018.
During the planned three-year offshore construction period it is estimated that around 250 to 300 jobs will be created and local vessels utilised, with 40 roles being based at the project management facility in Newhaven Port.
Up to 100 staff will be needed for the onshore cable route, with between 40 to 60 people at the onshore substation during onshore construction.
E.ON envisage that up to 65 full-time permanent jobs will be created at the operations and maintenance base once the wind farm is commissioned and operational.