The news has been warmly welcomed by RenewableUK, the trade and professional body for the wind power, wave energy and tidal energy industries.
Between them, Race Bank and Dudgeon wind farms off the coast of Norfolk will power more than 730,000 homes with clean electricity, bringing £3 billion of investment to Britain and creating hundreds of jobs.
The massive capacity of each, Race Bank’s 580 megawatts and Dudgeon’s 560 megawatts, will add more than a gigawatt to Britain’s world-beating offshore sector. The UK already has more offshore wind energy installed than the rest of the world put together. These two projects will see that capacity increase by more than half as much again.
Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, said: "This decision is a tremendous boost for the offshore wind energy sector, creating hundreds of jobs, stimulating billions of poundsworth of investment and setting the UK firmly on the path of reaching its 2020 renewable energy targets.
"In total we now have close to 6.6 gigawatts of offshore wind power projects operational, in construction and with planning consent. This is a globally unrivalled pipeline of offshore wind farms, which has attracted significant investor interest from around the world."
"In took the UK ten years to go from two wind turbines off the port of Blyth to grow into a sector being admired worldwide as a low-carbon energy success story.
"Given the completion of Round 1 and excellent progress of Round 2, what now needs to follow is a decisive push to get the first of the Round 3 projects through planning. It will take hard work by the industry and Government, but we will not waver. By 2020, offshore wind could deliver around 20% of UK’s electricity and tens of thousands of jobs – a worthy prize!"