The European Investment Bank has signalled a major commitment to the UK wind energy industry after agreeing to provide £150 million in funding for the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm in the South-East.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signalled a major commitment to the UK wind energy industry after agreeing to provide £150 million in funding for the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm in the South-East.
With 100 wind turbines, each 115 metres (377 feet) tall, and a generating capacity of 300MW, the wind farm located off Thurness Point in Kent is the largest offshore wind farm operating in the world. European renewable energy company Vattenfall, which is headquartered in London, manages the farm.
Inaugurated in September 2010, the farm is an important step in enabling the UK to achieve renewable energy targets of generating 15 per cent of energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, Vattenfall says in a statement. The entire Thanet wind farm covers 35 square kilometres (13.5 square miles) and produces enough electricity to supply more than 200,000 homes with electricity.
EIB support for the project has been dependent on fulfilment of comprehensive environmental assessments, including evaluation of the project’s potential impact on marine and birdlife. The bank, which is the lending institution for the European Union, is also expected to fund a transmission link connecting the Thanet wind farm to the national grid. No details of when the additional funding will be delivered have been disclosed.
EIB vice president for the UK Simon Brooks comments, ‘The Thanet Offshore wind farm demonstrates how offshore wind can achieve economies of scale and make a significant contribution to renewable energy supply. The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting expansion of the offshore sector to increase experience and drive commercialisation of cutting edge technology.’
Johan Gyllenhoff, group treasurer at Vattenfall, adds, ‘We are proud to have built the world’s largest offshore wind farm, and we are very pleased with the European Investment Bank’s long-term funding support.’