The UK has given the green light for the construction of the world’s largest wind farm—the London Array—to be built in the Thames estuary off the Kent coast.
The consent gives the go-ahead for the offshore sections of the 1,000MW wind farm which, if built, will displace nearly 2 million tonnes of CO2 a year. The wind farm would generate enough electricity to power 750,000 homes, equivalent to a quarter of Greater London’s households or every home in Kent and East Sussex.
The proposed wind farm would be situated midway between the Kent and Essex coastlines, more than 20 km (12 miles) from each shore. It would consist of up to 271 turbines, installed on the Long Sand and Kentish Knock banks and in the Knock Deep channel that lies between. It will occupy an area of up to 245km2 in water depths ranging from 0 to 23 m.
The consent for the onshore substation, necessary to connect London Array into the national grid, remains outstanding and will now be subject to a Public Inquiry.
This is a significant step forward in the development of the London Array offshore wind farm. The UK Government has a target of 10% of energy generation from renewables by 2010 and an aspiration to double that by 2020; to help reach these targets it is imperative that large scale wind farms such as London Array get the go-ahead and are built in the not too distant future.—Andrew Murfin, a Director of London Array Limited
The London Array consortium is made up of E.ON UK, Shell WindEnergy Ltd and CORE Ltd, a joint venture between Farm Energy, the originator of the project and DONG Energy.
Approval was also given for the Thanet offshore wind project—a 300MW array to be located approximately 11 km to the east of Margate, Kent. The development may be in place by 2008.
(A hat-tip to Chris!)