The Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind Plant, a 108 MW proposal slated for development off the east coast of England, became one of four new offshore wind projects to attain government consent. The projects were approved under the Transport and Works Act of 1992 as part of an ongoing program to significantly increase the supply of wind-generated electricity in the U.K. over the next several years.London, England – November 3, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] GE Wind Energy acquired the Gunfleet Sands project through its wind company acquisition last year. GE Wind Energy is continuing to process the project’s pre-development activities. Once built, the plant should produce enough clean energy to meet the annual electricity requirements of about 85,000 average U.K. households, said the company. “We are pleased to be moving the development of the Gunfleet Sands Offshore Project another step forward,” said Celene McIntyre, U.K. country manager for GE Wind Energy. “Our GE team, part of the 15,000 employees General Electric has in the U.K., is looking forward to bringing this world-class project to the area and providing additional clean electricity for the national grid.” Construction of the Gunfleet Sands project is expected to commence during 2005. The new wind plant will be located approximately seven kilometers off Clacton-on-Sea, in Essex, on seabed leased for the project from the Crown Estate — an entity that manages nearly 120,000 hectares of agricultural land and extensive marine assets throughout the U.K. In total, 18 offshore wind projects have been proposed around the U.K coast. To date, 12 have been granted permission to begin construction, totaling more than 1,200 MW. “We are building the first phase of offshore wind power; and these projects will help us toward our target of producing 10 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2010,” said U.K. Energy Minister Stephen Timms. “Renewable energy will help us meet our long-term energy needs while also addressing our environmental concerns.” GE’s new 3.6-MW wind turbine technology is being considered for the Gunfleet Sands project. The world’s first full-scale application of that technology is the 25-MW Arklow Bank Wind Park in the Irish Sea, which is nearing completion. A prototype 3.6-MW machine has been operating on land since 2002 as a test bed in Spain.