An offshore wind farm in East Anglia that will power as many as half a million homes has been given the go-ahead.
The Government has granted permission for the construction of 140 turbines off the coast of Suffolk, as well as infrastructure at Sizewell which will connect the renewable power source to the grid.
Developer Galloper Wind Farm, a joint venture between RWE npower renewables and SSE renewables, estimates the wind farm will provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of as many as 500,000 homes when it is completed in 2017.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said the scheme could generate around £18 to £20m of investment in Suffolk and create around 600 jobs across the country.
A spokesman for Decc said: "Galloper Wind Farm will provide large amounts of clean energy, support jobs and generate major investment in Suffolk.
"Offshore wind has an important role to play as a part of a balanced energy mix. This development will enhance our energy security and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
The development will have an installed capacity of up to 504MW and will be located 27 kilometres offshore, as an extension of the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm.
Project director Bart Oberink says: “Galloper Wind Farm has the potential to attract over £1bn of investment into new UK energy infrastructure from private investors. It is great for the country’s investment opportunities and could support the creation of hundreds of jobs.
“Galloper Wind Farm could make a substantial contribution to the UK’s clean energy supply. The total combined capacity for Galloper and Greater Gabbard, the neighbouring operational offshore wind farm also owned by RWE npower renewables and SSE, could mean over 1GW of renewable, home-grown energy for the UK.”
The news has been welcomed by trade association RenewableUK’s Director of Offshore Renewables Nick Medic.
“Galloper will add more than half a gigawatt to our offshore wind capacity, generating green energy and securing investment,” he sayd.
“It’s a perfect illustration of why the Government’s industrial strategy, to be published shortly, is right to focus on offshore wind as a priority sector for economic growth and job creation; the offshore wind sector will be employing more than 47,000 people by 2021.
“This announcement is timely as major international companies are currently deciding where to build the factories that will supply Galloper and the other massive offshore wind projects in the pipeline. That’s why it’s so important to get the policy framework right in the Energy Bill, so that the offshore wind supply chain can thrive in the UK.”