Prime Minister Gordon Brown has welcomed the go ahead today by E.ON, Dong and Masdar of the first phase of the £2.2 billion London Array offshore windfarm.
The UK is already the world's leading generator of offshore wind energy. The 1 Gigawatt London Array, to be situated off Kent and Essex, will be the biggest offshore wind farm in the world, generating enough electricity to power 750,000 households or a quarter of Greater London's homes.
The renewable energy generated by the site will displace the emission of 1.9million of CO2 every year with the first power feeding into the grid by 2012.
Today Dong Energy, E.ON and Masdar confirmed that they will invest €2.2bn in building the first 630MW phase and follows the UK Government’s recent proposal to increase its support for offshore wind power.
The partners confirmed they are all satisfied that the project is now financially viable and are ready to push ahead with construction and to produce the first renewable power in 2012.
Onshore work is now due to start in the summer, with offshore work due to start in early 2011.
The scheme will be built around 12 miles off the coasts of Kent and Essex. The wind farm will be installed on a 90 square mile site and will be built in two phases.
The consortium hopes the first phase of 630MW will be completed and generating in 2012. The first phase will consist of 175 turbines. The second phase will add enough capacity to bring the total to 1,000MW.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “The London Array is a flagship project in our drive to cut emissions by 80% by 2050 and meet future energy needs. The UK is a world leader in offshore wind farms, creating jobs and prosperity for the economy. That’s why we have increased our support for this technology as we move towards a low carbon future. “E.ON, DONG Energy and Masdar are to be congratulated for their work on the London Array.”
Anders Eldrup, CEO of Dong Energy, which has built approximately half of all offshore wind farms in the world today, said: “Following the 2 ROC announcement, and our subsequent decision to build the Walney projects, I’m thrilled that we today also have the final investment decision on the London Array project.
“The decision to build the London Array offshore wind farm is a very significant cornerstone in Dong Energy’s strategy to increase the proportion of electricity generated from renewable energy sources.”
E.ON CEO Dr. Wulf Bernotat added: “I’m delighted that work can now get underway on the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The start of London Array will mark a key milestone in our roadmap as we continue with our ambitious strategy to take renewables to an industrial level.
“With this pioneering scheme, we see a significant increase in scale for offshore wind and also for E.ON as we aim to become the world’s largest offshore wind farm developer.
“Today’s announcement is proof that, if all interested parties work together, renewable power can be taken to its next level and so make a real difference to the fight against climate change.”
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, said: “The leadership of Abu Dhabi recognizes the importance of global collaboration and engagement to deploy renewable energy on a large scale. The London Array represents Masdar’s strategic approach to renewable energy, whereby real partnerships are formed between government and the private sector.
“This project is a great achievement for the UK government, E.ON, DONG Energy and Masdar, which exemplifies our commitment to build cooperation to take renewable energy further down the path to widespread global adoption.”
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband added: “This is another green light for green energy. It’s a vote of confidence in the support the Government has put into backing renewable energy.
“The UK is already the world’s leading offshore wind power and this multi-billion pound project will help keep us there, cut our carbon emissions and contribute to secure energy supplies.”