Government green lights first south coast wind farm
The Rampion offshore wind farm off the Sussex coast has today (16 July) been given ministerial consent by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to go ahead.
DECC announced that it had confirmed the project with E.ON. The wind farm is expected to support more than 750 jobs and bring more than £2bn of investment into the UK economy.
The decision means Rampion will become the first offshore wind farm off the south coast of England. The final wind farm will consist of between 100 and 175 turbines and be installed around 13 to 15km off the Sussex coast.
E.ON Renewables chief operating officer Michael Lewis said: "E.ON is delighted to receive development consent for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm proposal. This is a key milestone for the project and we firmly believe Rampion will play an important role in helping to ensure future security of supply and make a significant contribution towards meeting the UK's renewable energy targets."
The project will be developed by E.ON with Renewables UK Rampion Offshore Wind. Construction is expected to start in 2015 with generation starting in 2018/19. When finished, the wind farm will have the capacity to power approximately 450,000 homes.
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.
"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 decision was welcomed by environmental group Friends of the Earth. South East Campaigner Brenda Pollack said: "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.
"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 announcement from DECC follows the cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday (15 July), which saw Greg Barker step down and Energy Minister Michael Fallon move to the Ministry of Defence. Amber Rudd and Matt Hancock were appointed as replacements.
Last month DECC gave the green light to build one of the world's largest wind farms off the Suffolk coast. The East Anglia One offshore wind farm is expected to support almost 3,000 jobs and deliver clean power to nearly 820,000 homes.