Kentish Flats wind farm set for 15 new turbines in £150m expansion
PUBLISHED: 13:03 04 November 2013 | UPDATED: 13:03 04 November 2013
Extra energy will power a further 42,000 homes
Fifteen more offshore wind turbines are to be added to Kentish Flats site, off the coast of Whitstable and Herne Bay in a £150m expansion.
Work will begin by Swedish energy giant Vattenfall and should be completed by 2015.
When operational in 2015, it will generate annually the equivalent power used by 42,000 UK households, in addition to the existing 30 turbines.
Canterbury-based Matthew Green, Vattenfall’s project manager for the scheme, said: “Vattenfall’s decision to invest around £150mn in the Kentish Flats extension is the final hurdle that needs to be cleared before construction can start in 2015.
“It’s good to get that and I’m looking forward to leading the construction team over the next two-and-a-half years. We will now complete a period of intense detailed engineering and planning for the construction phase in 2015.
“When we start installing the 15 wind turbines there will be a short period of intense construction activity through spring and summer 2015.
“Building a wind farm offshore is a significant and very challenging engineering exercise. There will be a number of big vessels 8km off the Kent coast during construction and I hope that local people will take a lot of interest in what we are doing.”
The wind farm currently has 30 turbines and been in operation since 2005.
Operations for the expansion will be from Whitstable Harbour.
Mark Dance, cabinet member for economic development at Kent County Council, said: “The decision to go ahead with the extension of Kentish Flats is great news for Kent. We are really pleased to be able to support the expansion of one of the UK’s pioneering offshore wind farms. This major investment further strengthens the important role the County is playing in the growth of offshore wind industry and will bring lasting benefits to our local economy and people.”
Secretary of state for energy and climate change Ed Davey added: “I am delighted that Vattenfall are going to proceed with the Kentish Flats Extension project. This is testament to the power of inward investment in the UK. Offshore wind is a major success story for the UK which brings economic benefit to our shores, supports thousands of skilled jobs and is an important contributor to our energy mix.”