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16/08/2016

Clark approves ‘world’s largest’ offshore wind farm

Words: Laura Edgar

Energy secretary Greg Clark has granted development consent for what will be the world’s largest wind farm, Hornsea Project Two off the Yorkshire coast.

When complete, the offshore wind farm, which went through the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project process, is expected to deliver up to 1,800 megawatts (MW) of low carbon electricity to around 1.8 million homes.

Hornsea Project Two could create up to 1,960 construction jobs and 580 operational and maintenance jobs. If the wind farm is built to full capacity, the investment would total around £6 billion.

Comprising 300 wind turbines, the farm will be located 89km off the Yorkshire coast and will connect to the grid at North Killingholme in North Lincolnshire.

Clark said: “The UK’s offshore wind industry has grown at an extraordinary rate over the last few years, and is a fundamental part of our plans to build a clean, affordable, secure energy system.

“Britain is a global leader in offshore wind, and we’re determined to be one of the leading destinations for investment in renewable energy, which means jobs and economic growth right across the country.”

The government said it expects 10 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind installed by the end of this decade, while 10GW of new offshore wind in the 2020s could be installed as costs come down.

Clark’s decision was made in line with a recommendation from the Planning Inspectorate, which found that there would be “no significant adverse effect on historic seascape or seascape arising from the visual impact of the project”.

The Planning Inspectorate’s report also said the proposal avoids “significant adverse impact on health and quality of life from noise”. Should the agreed mitigation measures be implemented, the report stated there would be “no conflict with development plan policies aimed at the protection and enhancement of habitat and their biodiversity”.

RenewableUK’s chief executive, Hugh McNeal, said: “Today’s (16 August) announcement is the latest vote of confidence in the UK’s world-beating offshore wind market. This huge infrastructure project will provide much-needed investment and energy security for our country. Offshore wind represents a massive economic opportunity to the UK and our coastal regions. It is creating new jobs and regenerating local communities”.

The Planning Inspectorate’s report and Clark’s decision letter can be found here.

Image credit | iStock

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