Michael Lewis, European Managing Director for E.ON’s Renewables business, said: “This is excellent news for us and is recognition of our expertise with offshore wind power in the UK and perfectly complements our existing offshore pipeline of over 3,000 MW."
“We were early pioneers in the area with the country’s first offshore wind farm at Blyth and one of the first commercial scale schemes at Scroby Sands off Great Yarmouth.
“These schemes are getting bigger and bigger all the time and making a larger and larger contribution to the fight against climate change which is why we see it as a vital part of our generation portfolio in the UK.”
E.ON will soon start detailed environmental and engineering surveys within the zone to fully understand the potential of the area, but the company currently believes it will support a wind farm of around 650 MW.
Roger Bright CB, Chief Executive of The Crown Estate said: “I am delighted to announce that E.ON has been awarded the right to develop the South Coast Zone in our Round 3 offshore wind energy programme.
“The 32GW of installed capacity proposed by the offshore wind energy developers for 2020 would supply a quarter of the UK’s electricity needs. This means the UK will have a secure and low carbon electricity supply.
“In addition, the UK economy will benefit as offshore wind is a growth industry that will create new businesses and jobs as well as attracting inward investment.
“The Crown Estate has the vested rights to develop the UK seabed for renewable energy and will continue to be a co-investor up to the point of consent. Our role now is to work together with our development partners to help deliver the projects.”
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: “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.”
E.ON owns and operates:
* The UK’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Blyth in Northumberland;
* One of the country’s first commercial scale offshore wind farms at Scroby Sands off Great Yarmouth in Norfolk; and
* One of Europe’s largest offshore wind farms at Robin Rigg in the Solway Firth, which is currently going through commissioning;
* Outside the UK, E.ON is building Rödsand II, a 207 MW offshore wind farm off the coast of Denmark and commissioning Alpha Ventus, the world’s first deepwater, far shore project, off the coast of Germany as part of a JV with EWE and Vattenfall.
The company is also a partner in the London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, with DONG Energy and Masdar.
Key facts on zone
· The Hastings zone is located off the West Sussex coastline, out to sea off Brighton;
· The area is 270.2 km², equivalent to 54,000 average football pitches;
· It is over 13km from the coast at its closest point and nearly 26km at its furthest;
· At 19.7km to the centre of the Hastings zones, this represents the same distance as from Brighton to Glyndebourne;
· The shallowest parts of the zone at around 19m are of a similar depth to the London Array project awaiting construction in the Thames estuary;
· The deeper areas of up to 62m are more likely to be avoided, so not all of the zone will used to locate wind turbines.
Key facts on E.ON
· E.ON is one of the UK’s leading power and gas companies – generating and distributing electricity, and retailing power and gas – and is part of the E.ON group, one of the world’s largest investor-owned power and gas companies.
· We employ more than 16,000 people in the UK and around 90,000 worldwide;
· E.ON’s retail business is a leading energy supplier in the UK with around 5.5 million electricity and gas customers;
· The generation business produces enough electricity to cater for the needs of around eight million homes from a portfolio of world-class gas-, coal- and oil-fired power stations;
· We’re one of the leading renewable generators in the UK, with 20 wind farms located from Cornwall to Northern Ireland. We own and operate one of the UK’s largest dedicated biomass power stations at Lockerbie. Combined, our renewable portfolio generates enough green energy to power the homes in a city the size of Manchester;
· Our green development portfolio could power over a million homes and displace the emission of almost two million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by building new onshore and offshore wind farms, biomass power stations, and tidal stream and wave power schemes;
· Our target is to cut the carbon released by each kW of electricity we generate by 10% between 2005-2012, having already reduced it by 20% since 1990;
· We have 1,500MW of renewable capacity under development;
· We are investing £50 million in new technologies and approaches over 10 years, through the Energy Technologies Institute.