The UK government has announced consent for a 175 turbine offshore wind farm about 13km off the coast of Sussex.
The Rampion wind farm is expected to create over 750 jobs and marks a significant contribution to the renewable energy market, with the site having the potential to generate electricity for 450,000 homes.
E.ON will develop the £2 billion pound project and Rampion will be the first offshore wind farm off the south coast of England.
The government is building on their legal commitment to source 15% of the UK’s energy from renewables by 2020.
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Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey said, “We’re driving investment in our energy security, and our plans have made us number one in the world for investment in offshore wind energy.”
He added, “This project is great news for Sussex, providing green jobs as well as driving business opportunities right across the country in a sector with a clear roadmap for long-term growth.”
The UK is a world leader in offshore wind and the government also approved plans for what could be the largest offshore wind farm in the world in June.
“This is fantastic news. The Rampion offshore wind farm will support hundreds of jobs, boost the economy and reduce our reliance on dirty fossil fuels,” said Brenda Pollack, Friends of the Earth’s South East campaigner.
“The UK’s huge wind potential could make a major contribution to our energy needs, and help Britain meet its climate change goals. Ministers must show real ambition for offshore wind, and a stable pathway to 2030 to get us there.”
The project reduced its plans for 195 turbines to 175 after public opposition about worries it would be visible from the South Downs national park.
Construction on the site will start in 2015 and could take up to four years to complete. Before it can go ahead, developers need to make the final investment decision and apply for subsidies.
Chris Tomlinson, development manager for Rampion Wind Farm, said, “This is great news for E.ON and for Sussex. The wind farm will not only help generate jobs during both construction and operation, but also provide a boost to the port regeneration at Newhaven and the local economy.”
The government recently appointed Matthew Hancock as the minister of state for energy, although Hancock has previously shown his opposition to proposed wind farms and wind farm subsidies.
Photo: NHD-INFO via Flickr