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The UK offshore wind industry is making progress in its second phase of development, reports the BWEA. The announcement from Thanet Offshore Wind Limited of it’s submission for formal consent means that all three of the large-scale wind farms planned for development in the Thames Estuary strategic area, a total of 1800MW of capacity, are now being considered by the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) and Defra.

First past the line was the London Array in June this year. The 1,000MW project, being developed by the consortium of CORE Ltd, E.ON UK Renewables and Shell WindEnergy, potentially represents 10% of the Government’s 2010 targets for renewable. Next to submit was the 500MW Greater Gabbard project, developed by Airtricity and Fluor, in October 2005. This project is the first offshore wind farm to seek consent outside UK territorial waters, enabled by the Energy Act 2004 under which a Renewable Energy Zone has been declared for the UK continental shelf. Thanet Offshore Wind Farm has applied for consent to construct and operate 300MW. All three projects have accompanied their applications with environmental and technical surveys, and are seeking permission to build arrays of up to 270 turbines at sea. If consents are awarded within 12 months, then construction could start in 2007-08, with the projects being built out over a number of years after that.
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