The Crown Estate announces 2 gigawatts (GW) of extensions to offshore Round 1 and Round 2 sites.
More space to build on the back of strong offshore growth and developer demand.
Seven projects granted extensions, due to come on-stream by 2016.
RenewableUK, the countrys leading renewable energy trade association, endorsed todays announcement by The Crown Estate on extending Round 1 and Round 2 offshore wind farm sites as further evidence of the viability and strength of the UKs pioneering offshore wind programme. The Crown Estate awarded an additional 2GW of sites, sufficient to power 2 million homes on an annual basis, to seven existing offshore wind farms.
Peter Madigan, RenewableUKs Head of Offshore Renewables, said:
The extensions of Round 1 and 2 sites follow on the heels of successful commissioning and operation of seven wind farms over the last four to five years. The announcement is entirely driven by developer interest and provides emphatic evidence of offshore wind viability and growth. The projects are proven to deliver, so it makes sense to scale them up.
Out of the seven sites involved, five will be granted an extension of project area, while two will have more capacity added within the existing project boundaries. Industry experts believe that extending area or capacity of offshore wind farms will enable wind farm developers to deliver economies of scale both in terms of project delivery and in terms of operation and maintenance costs.
The UK now has 40GW+ of offshore wind projects at various stages of development, and has established itself as world leader with over 1GW installed. When fully built out, this potential will supply a full third of our nations electricity, or more than 130 terawatt hours per annum. Since the beginning of the year we have seen investment totalling £0.5 billion, from some of the worlds best-known companies, backing this project. The zone extensions show the offshore revolution is well under way, commented Madigan.