Atlantic Array offshore windfarm developer announced

THE Government has announced the name of the company that will work on a project to build the world s largest offshore windfarm off the North Devon coast. RWE Npower Renewables will develop proposals for the �4.5billion Atlantic Array, a 250-turbine devel

THE Government has announced the name of the company that will work on a project to build the world's largest offshore windfarm off the North Devon coast.

RWE Npower Renewables will develop proposals for the �4.5billion Atlantic Array, a 250-turbine development 14km to the north of Lundy Island.

The firm is one nine developers to have signed exclusive agreements for nine offshore wind zones within UK waters in the Crown Estate's Round Three bidding programme. While the "Bristol Channel Zone" would supply 1.5gigawatts of electricity, it is hoped the nine sites will deliver 32GW, a quarter of the UK's electricity needs.

RWE Npower Renewables, the UK subsidiary of RWE Innogy, will work in tandem with the Crown Estate to take the proposals through the planning and consenting phase.


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Paul Coffey, Chief Operating Officer, RWE Innogy, said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to develop what will be one of the most significant renewable energy projects in the UK.

"By developing Atlantic Array Wind Farm within the Bristol Channel Zone we will play a leading role in meeting the UK's challenging targets for generating renewable energy and reducing the impacts of climate change, while helping to improve domestic energy security in the future.

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"RWE npower renewables is the UK subsidiary of RWE Innogy and a highly experienced offshore wind farm developer which is committed to developing a wind farm that is appropriate for the location and considerate of the local onshore and offshore environments.

"Development of the nine Round 3 zones represents a fantastic opportunity for UK businesses and the supply chain to gear up in support of the growing offshore wind industry and to reap the economic and employment benefits this represents."

The successful bidders were announced by the Crown Estate earlier today (Friday) at an event in London, attended by Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Mr Brown, said: "Our policies in support of offshore wind energy have already put us ahead of every other country in the world. This new round of licences provides a substantial new platform for investing in UK industrial capacity.

"The offshore wind industry is at the heart of the UK economy's shift to low carbon and could be worth �75 billion and support up to 70,000 jobs by 2020.

"This announcement will make a significant and practical contribution to reducing our CO2 emissions and the Government will work with developers and The Crown Estate to support the growing offshore wind industry and help remove barriers to rapid development."

Mr Miliband added: "Our island has one of the best wind energy resources in Europe and today's news shows we're creating the right conditions for the energy industry to invest in harnessing it. This is one of the strongest signals yet that the UK is locked irreversibly into a low carbon, energy secure prosperous future."

Roger Bright, Chief Executive of The Crown Estate said: "I am delighted that we have today announced the Development Partners for all nine Round 3 zones.

"We have been working very closely with Government and a wide range of other interests to secure commitments from investors in offshore wind energy in the UK.

"The Crown Estate will continue to play an active role working closely with our new partners to deliver their offer of 32 GW - which equates to a quarter of the UK's electricity needs.

"A series of supply chain events will be held across the UK in January, February and March to support the delivery of this growth industry and these will be hosted by The Crown Estate, the UK Government and the devolved administrations."

To find out what benefits the Atlantic Array could bring for North Devon, see Wednesday's North Devon Gazette.

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