UK gives go ahead to world’s largest wind farm… again

Plans for an offshore wind farm twice the size of the world’s current largest have received approval from the UK government.

The energy secretary has granted Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm permission to construct a 1,200MW facility with up to 288 turbines off the Lincolnshire and Norfolk coasts, just a week after the opening of the record-breaking London Array.

RWE npower has scheduled 2017 as the construction start date for Triton Knoll, which, once complete, is expected to be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, generating over £3.6bn of investment and creating around 1,130 jobs across the country.

If built as planned, it will dwarf the current record-holder, the 630MW London Array, even after a proposed second phase of development that will take the Thames Estuary farm to 870MW.

Swedish energy firm Vattenfall has today also confirmed it will invest £400m in the 76-turbine Pen y Cymoedd onshore wind farm in South Wales, which is scheduled for construction in 2014.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said the two planned projects will generate enough power for almost one million homes when completed and bring in over £4bn of investment into the country.

Energy secretary Edward Davey said in a statement: ‘These two projects will attract billions in investment into the UK, support hundreds of skilled green jobs in Lincolnshire, Norfolk and in the county boroughs of Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taf whilst providing homes with clean energy.

‘Only last week the prime minister opened the London Array, the largest operating wind farm in the world, and today we gave planning permission to build a bigger offshore wind farm and also welcome the go-ahead of the biggest onshore wind farm in England and Wales. Offshore and onshore wind is an important contributor to our energy mix.

‘We have provided certainty early to onshore and offshore wind investors and now see significant investment decisions being made that will benefit the UK’s economy for years to come.’