UK government gives consent to build two offshore wind projects

Dec 18, 2006 01:00 AM

The UK government gave the green light to build two new offshore wind farm projects in an attempt to meet its 2010 renewable energy target. The government gave consent to build the London Array project and the Thanet project in the Thames Estuary in southeast England. The two projects would have a total electricity output capacity of 1.3 GW, the government said.
"By issuing the licenses to build the world's largest offshore wind farms in the Thames Estuary we are re-enforcing the UK's commitment to renewable energy," Environment Secretary David Miliband said.

The UK government has set an ambitious target to generate 10 % of its electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass by 2010. Wind farms are expected to account for a large part of the target since it is one of the most economical renewable technologies to build on a large scale at the moment.
A significant chunk of that wind farm power generation is expected to come from large offshore windfarms such as the London Array project, but local opposition has stymied some of the projects.

On June 5 Swale Borough Council in Kent turned down an onshore planning application to build a substation that would link the 1,000-MW London Array wind farm to the UK's power grid. The owners of the London Array project -- Shell WindEnergy, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell, E.ON UK, the UK arm of German utility E.ON and Anglo-Danish joint venture CORE -- are investing £ 1.5 bn to build the world's largest offshore wind farm more than 20 km offshore from the coasts of Essex and Kent in the Thames Estuary.
The London Array is expected to generate enough electricity for more than 750,000 homes. The consortium of partners expects to start construction in 2009 and begin operation around 2012.

Meanwhile, the £ 500 mm Thanet wind farm will be located about 11.3 km from North Foreland on the Kent coast and have an installed capacity of 300 MW. The project, led by developer, Warwick Energy, is being fast-tracked for delivery in 2008and expects to provide electricity for around 240,000 homes.
Together, the two projects will generate enough electricity to power a third of London's 3 mm households, the UK government said.

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Source: Dow Jones Newswires
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