UK’s largest offshore windfarm to be built off Norfolk coast

Norfolk is to have a new 38 turbine offshore windfarm which will provide enough electricity to power 52,000 homes, following a joint announcement by the Department for the Environment (DEFRA) and the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI).

The two departments have issued a licence for the 76 MW windfarm to be built at Middle Scroby Sands, two-and-a-half kilometres off the coast of Great Yarmouth. Building work will begin this winter, and is due for completion during the summer next year.

According to Environment Minister Michael Meacher, there have been difficult issues to resolve over the application. “There has been extensive consultation with interested parties and dialogue with the applicant,” said the Minister. “I am now satisfied that the views of all parties have been adequately covered. There will also have to be a rigorous monitoring programme to ensure that the impacts of the windfarm are as predicted.”

Energy Minister Brian Wilson declared the move as a significant step forward for the wind industry. “It is the first offshore windfarm development to be approved from the 18 potential sites identified by developers who successfully pre-qualified last year from Crown Estate seabed leases (see related story),” he said in a written answer to a parliamentary question. “Offshore wind in the UK can make a major contribution to climate change objectives, to secure electricity supplies, and to our economic well-being through job creation and exports.”

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