EDF joins Eneco to build Isle of Wight offshore wind farm

EDF has moved to strengthen its position in the offshore wind energy market, after forming a joint venture to develop the Round 3 wind turbines project to the west of the Isle of Wight.

EDF confirmed it has signed a 50:50 joint venture to hold the exclusive development rights to the 900 MW and 1,200 MW Navitus Bay Offshore Wind Power Project, with existing developer Eneco.

Eneco was awarded the development rights for the Round 3 zone by the Crown Estate in January 2010. The two companies now plan to submit a planning application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) at the end of 2013, with construction expected to start in 2016.

Earlier this month, a consortium led by EDF and engineering firm Alstom won three out of four tenders for prospective projects from the first round of tenders for offshore wind farm development zones in French waters.

EDF is also building a 62 MW offshore wind farm between the mouth of the River Tees and the town of Redcar, Teesside, which is expected to start exporting power by the end of this year.

The Crown Estate’s new head of offshore wind, Huub den Rooijen, said he was pleased to see a new player investing in Round 3.

"The arrival of one of Europe’s biggest utility companies into the Round 3 programme provides another boost for the offshore wind industry, bringing new expertise and skills into the UK market to help drive forward the world’s largest offshore wind programme," he said.