UK government-supported Green Investment Bank (GIB) and the German energy company E.ON have joined forces to build a major new, £1.3 billion wind farm off the south coast of England.
E.ON plans to invest €1.9 billion in the Rampion project, while GIB will provide €327 million. Rampion will be located approximately eight miles off the Sussex coast near Brighton and will take around three years to construct. The development will feature 116 3.45-megawatt wind turbines, supplied by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind – the company’s largest-ever turbine order. With capacity to generate 400MW of energy, the farm is expected to produce 1,300 gigawatt hours per year – enough to power up to 300,000 homes.
As the main partner in the project E.ON will construct the turbine foundations and marine export cabling in water depths ranging from 19 to 30 metres. It will also install the onshore substation and cabling connecting the farm to the UK National Grid. Once the project is complete E.ON will divest the offshore transmission assets, but will remain involved in the farm, providing energy management services.
The construction phase of the development will provide 300 jobs, while the operational phase will require a staff of 60.
The head of GIB, Shaun Kingsbury, said, ‘Our investment gives the developer the confidence to begin construction on this important offshore wind project.’
Edinburgh-based GIB has invested in seven offshore wind projects since it was created in 2012. With funding worth £3.8 billion it is the first bank of its kind in the world.