The announcement follows a tendering process launched by The Crown Estate in 2008 to allow for 32 GW-worth of offshore wind power in UK waters by 2020.
The wind turbines project will be referred to as the Eneco Wind Farm in its early stages. Eneco believes that around 30 per cent of the 723 sq km zone could be developed, providing approximately 900 MW of capacity.
The Eneco wind farm project is expected to be operational by 2016. The final design and ultimate capacity will be determined after comprehensive engagement with all parties involved including the general public, local authorities, community and environmental groups.
Eneco is already experienced in the renewable energy sector. It is the owner and operator of 28 wind farms including the 120 MW offshore Princess Amalia wind power project located on the Dutch coast of the North Sea and Tullo Wind Farm, in Scotland.
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.”
Roger Bright CB, Chief Executive of The Crown Estate said: “I am delighted to announce that Eneco has been awarded the right to develop Zone 7 in our Round 3 offshore wind power programme. The 32 GW 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.”
Kees-Jan Rameau, Member, Eneco Board of Management said: “Eneco is pleased to be appointed by The Crown Estate as developer of Zone 7. As a key energy company in the UK, we have an ambitious renewable energy strategy which is in line with the UK Government’s agenda for combating the impacts of climate change. The Eneco Wind Park will deliver UK-sourced clean and efficient energy to the south coast making a valuable contribution to national energy security and climate change mitigation targets.”
Jeroen de Haas, Chairman of the Board of Management, Eneco said: “Successfully operating 28 wind farms including the Princess Amalia offshore wind park, Eneco has the expertise that a project of this scale requires. We look forward to engaging with stakeholders through the consultation period to determine the project’s design and capacity.”