World’s biggest wind farm set to go ahead
The world’s biggest off-shore wind farm, recently granted Governmental consent, could produce enough ‘carbon-free’ energy to supply a quarter of a million homes.The ‘London Array’ would generate 1GW of electricity a year, enough to replace 1.9m tonnes of carbon dioxide that would be released into the atmosphere if it were generated by burning fossil fuel. The proposed site covers 148 square miles, 12 miles off-shore, stretching between Clacton, Essex and Margate, Kent.
While Governmental consent has been given, the project still relies on consent for an essential onshore sub-station being built in Swale, Kent. The initial planning application for the sub-station was blocked by Swale council in July this year, but an appeal was lodged and will be decided at a hearing in March 2007. Another major scheme, located in the Thames estuary off-shore from Thanet, capable of generating 300MW was given the go ahead.
The Government has made a target that 10 per cent of the UK’s energy requirements be generated from renewable sources by 2010, a goal which is significantly helped along by the new projects.
“We expect this announcement will be the first of a number of large- scale offshore wind farms in the UK and will provide real impetus for the continued developments in the offshore renewable energy sector that will benefit generations to come,” said David Miliband, environment secretary.