UK Offshore Wind Technology Funded

Two new plans, which will provide Renewable Energy for over 100,000 homes in the UK, were given the green light last week, with the promise of £20 million (US$31 million) of government support.

London, England – October 8, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Brian Wilson, Minister for Energy, announced the funding would be equally split between offshore wind farms near coast of North Wales, operated by National Windpower and Norfolk, operated by Powergen. The development by National Windpower will result in 30 wind turbines with a total capacity of up to 90 MW, providing electricity for 50,000 homes. The Powergen project off Norfolk will consist of 39 turbines with a total capacity of up to 80 MW, providing electricity for a further 50,000 homes. “These developments are a major step forward for the UK offshore wind industry and the clearest signal yet that UK manufacturing can play its part in the growing market for sustainable energy at home and abroad,” Wilson said. These are the first projects to have gained all the necessary consents from the eighteen potential sites identified by offshore wind developers. The offshore wind capital grants program has increased from £68 – 74 million (US$104 – 115 Million) over three rounds of funding. “There has never been production of renewables technologies on a such a scale on British soil before,” Wilson said. “The greatest benefit from developing our sustainable technologies is the possibility of a UK green-manufacturing base. The renewables revolution is not just about energy and the environment. It is about jobs in manufacturing, as Kintyre is now witnessing.” “On the National Wind power project alone, the orders placed with UK companies will be over 85 percent of the project value,” Wilson said. “This will create 140 jobs during the construction phase. Vestas in Campbeltown; Scotland, Mayflower in Middlesborough and Seacore in Cornwall will take lead contracts in this projects. Wilson also launched new guidance to developers on where to locate their wind farms to avoid interfering with military and civil aviation operations. The document provides a clear source of information for wind farm developers on the potential impact of wind farms on both civil and military aviation. This includes military low flying and the effect of wind turbines on radar functioning. The government is expecting to create a £2 billion (US$3 billion) a year market for Renewable Energy by 2010 through the Renewables Obligation, the government’s main plank in its Renewable Energy policy. The UK’s target is 10 percent renewables electricity by 2010. In addition to this the government has set aside almost £300 million (US$469 million) of direct financial support for green energy.
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