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DECC consents to DONG Energy’s 660MW offshore wind project in UK

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UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has granted the development consent order for the Walney Extension offshore wind farm to Danish developer DONG Energy.

The consent order covers all aspects of the project, including the turbines, offshore and onshore substations, array cables and export cable.

These developments are an extension for the Walney I and II offshore wind farms. The project will be located off the Walney Island amidst the Irish Sea. This setting promises high-wind potential but also difficult ground conditions.

Up to 207 wind turbines are likely to be installed at the farm, informed DECC. Once operational, it will power more than half a million UK households.

"Driving investment in energy has made us the top country in the world for investing in offshore wind."

UK energy and climate change secretary Edward Davey said: "Another large wind farm is now closer to being built and each one gives us more home-grown, clean and secure energy supplies.

"This government has worked tirelessly to re-balance the economy and create more green jobs. This project alone is expected to create 230 new jobs during the construction phase and many more opportunities throughout the UK economy.

"Driving investment in energy has made us the top country in the world for investing in offshore wind."

Expected to be built over four years from 2016 to 2019 with 6MW to 8MW turbines, the project can generate 185 jobs annually over its expected 25-year lifespan.

Walney Extension is one of five offshore wind projects and one of the three DONG Energy projects, which had signed up to the Contract for Difference, aiming at low-carbon power generation.

DONG Energy UK Wind Power vice-president Benj Sykes said: "Walney Extension is expected to have generation capacity of up to 660MW, with the potential to power up to half a million homes.

"This decision to grant development consent now clears the way for the company to make a final investment decision on the project.

"With consent also granted to the Burbo Bank Extension project recently, this really underlines our commitment to investing in the UK and helping us move towards a low carbon economy."

The final investment decision for the project is yet to be taken by the developers.