UK-based power company E.ON is seeking the approval from the Planning Inspectorate for its 700MW Rampion Offshore Wind Farm in Sussex coast.
The State Secretary has agreed to review the £2bn project after it made significant changes in the project model.
Questions were raised citing environmental impacts including visual impact of the wind farm from the Sussex Heritage Coast, the impact on fishermen and sea users and the impact of the onshore cable route on the South Downs National Park.
For this, the company has reduced the project area by one-fourth and reduced the number of turbines by 20. The new models proposed will feature turbines between 100 and 175.
Commenting on the developments, E.ON project development manager Chris Tomlinson noted that the application consideration by inspectorate is a major milestone for the company.
“In finalising our proposals, we’ve been very grateful for the level of interest shown by the local community and the comments we have received.
“The feedback from the consultations has helped us shape the proposals and further reduce the impact on the local community, while maintaining a project capable of generating electricity for the needs of two thirds of the homes in Sussex,” explained Tomlinson.
E.ON expects the final decision to be made in summer 2014. However, it has scheduled the commissioning in the year 2017.
The energy produced from the project can meet the power needs of 450,000 homes in the region.