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Final plans for first wind farm off South Coast of England

E.ON has announced the final design for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm project, after receiving consent from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in July this year.

Situated 13km off the Sussex coast at its nearest point, the 72 sqkm final wind farm would feature 116 turbines, each measuring around 140m high to tip. It would have the capacity to generate 400MW of electricity, enough to supply the equivalent of up to 290,000 homes and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 600,000 tonnes a year.

Chris Tomlinson, E.ON Development Manager for the Rampion Wind Farm, said: “Our final proposed wind farm design seeks to optimise the scheme in the best seabed conditions as part of our continuing drive to reduce the costs of offshore wind. We’re now finalising our construction plans and moving closer to being able to secure jobs during both construction and operation. We look forward to moving the project forward and to generating large scale renewable energy helping to secure future electricity supplies.”

Chris Todd, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth, said: “This is really good news as it brings us another step closer to reducing our carbon emissions here in Sussex. We also welcome the fact that E.ON has altered the size and layout of the wind farm which will dramatically reduce the visual impact from the Heritage Coast and the wider South Downs.”

Peter Davies, Development Director of Shoreham Port said: “We welcome the final proposals which ensure the Port’s future as Rampion will no longer affect its anchorage and will maintain straight passage for ships into and out of the port.”
In reaching the optimised wind farm design, E.ON has reviewed the results of extensive on and offshore engineering surveys and their associated technical and cost implications, alongside commercial and environmental considerations raised by stakeholders during the examination of the development consent order application.

During the proposed three year offshore construction period it is estimated that 250 to 300 jobs would be created and local vessels would be utilised, with 40 roles being based at the project management facility in Newhaven Port. It is envisaged that a workforce of up to 100 would be working on the onshore cable route while around 40 to 60 people would be employed at the onshore substation during the proposed 2 year onshore construction. It is estimated that up to 65 full time permanent jobs would be created at the operations base in Newhaven Port once the wind farm is commissioned and fully operational.

E.ON will continue to keep the local community informed on the project’s progress and will be working hard over the coming months and years to make sure they are aware of the onshore and offshore activities associated with building the wind farm.
The Rampion project remains set to become the first offshore wind farm off the south coast of England. A final timetable for construction is yet to be finalised.