First turbines completed at offshore wind farm
Hayley MaceThe region's green energy credentials will soon get a major boost as the first turbines at the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm are now in place and ready to start generating power.Hayley Mace
The region's green energy credentials will soon get a major boost as the first turbines at the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm are now in place and ready to start generating power.
The development of the wind farm, which is being built about 15 miles off the Suffolk coast near Sizewell, is gathering pace and after a busy summer, all 140 foundations are now in place and 30 of the 170m tall turbines have been completed.
These first 3.6 Megawatt turbines are expected to start generating green energy later this year, and when the wind farm is fully operational by 2012 it is expected to generate enough renewable electricity to power more than 500,000 homes.
The wind farm is operated and monitored from Lowestoft, where Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Limited (GGOWL) has already invested �1.5m in its purpose-built base on the old fish docks off Battery Green Road. Employees are already working in Lowestoft, and about 100 jobs are expected to be created there by the time the wind farm is fully up and running in 2012.
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Colin Hood, chief operating officer at Scottish and Southern Energy, which is a joint partner in GGOWL with RWE npower renewables, said: 'This is a substantial milestone in the development of the Greater Gabbard wind farm, and demonstrates how well the project is progressing overall.
'When the wind farm becomes fully operational in 2012, it will help the UK meet tough targets for renewable electricity generation.'
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The components for the turbines, which are supplied by Siemens, have been installed by Fluor after arriving by sea at Harwich.
Earlier this year, the Crown Estate, which owns the seabed and grants licences for wind farms, granted permission for Scottish and Southern Energy and RWE npower renewables to build another 500 Megawatt wind farm, known as Galloper, next to Greater Gabbard, about 20 miles off the coast.