The plans for the London Array, originally proposed in 2001 and which have stood in jeopardy for the last few years have finally been approved thanks to new funding secured by the UK government in last month’s Budget.
German energy giant, E.ON, the company responsible for the majority of Denmark’s wind power and for building half of the off shore wind farms in the world, DONG Energy, and an Abu Dhabi government controlled fund, Masdar, have come together to make the London Array a reality, investing £2.2bn in the development. Work on the onshore farm will begin this summer, with the offshore farm development due to begin in 2011.
It is anticipated that phase 1 of the project will provide 630MW of energy, and will be completed in 2012. British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, commented,
“The London Array is a flagship project in our drive to cut emissions by 80% by 2050 and meet future energy needs. That’s why we have increased our support for this technology as we move towards a low carbon future.”
When complete, the site, which will be located 12 miles from the coast of Kent and Essex in the Thames Estuary, will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, generating 1GW of energy – enough to power 750,000 homes and prevent 1.9million tonnes of carbon being emitted into the atmosphere every year.
Dong Energy’s CEO, Anders Eldrup expressed his feelings about the decision:
“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.”