The next phase of UK windfarm development started today, with the Government giving the go ahead for four new windfarms to be built off the coast of Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Essex.
According to a statement from the Department of Trade and Industry, the new windfarms will produce more than 450 MW of electricity, enough to power a total of about 230,000 homes. Each site will be made up of 30 turbines, all located at least three miles from the coast off East Anglia and Lincolnshire.
Energy Minister, Stephen Timms, speaking at the Renewable Power Association Conference at Olympia, said: ‘Wind power is playing a central role in the UK’s renewable energy revolution.
‘We are building the first phase of offshore wind power and these new farms will help us towards our target of producing 10% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2010.
‘We recently announced the next phase of wind farm development which could see windfarms powering up to 1 in 6 of UK households.
‘Wind power technology is a clean and green alternative to fossil fuels. We are committed to reducing our carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by 2050 and renewable energy will help us meet our long term energy needs while also addressing our environmental concerns.’
All four projects were given consent to proceed with construction under the Transport and Works Act 1992. Developers were awarded leases to use the seabed for windfarms by the Crown Estate in April 2001.
Of the 18 projects granted leases, 12 have been granted permission to begin construction by the Government, totalling more than 1200MW. North Hoyle, off the North Wales, will be the first offshore windfarm to be completed, and is expected to be opened in November 2003.