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World’s biggest wind farm planned for Thames Estuary

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by Peter Charalambous

The 1,000 megawatt wind farm planned in the Thames Estuary near London has been given the go ahead by E.ON UK, DONG Energy and Masdar, and will help the UK meet its carbon reduction target as the Prime Minister Gordon Brown welcomed the development.

Frank Mastiaux, Chief Executive of E.ON Climate and Renewables, said that the consortium would invest 2.2 billion euros as part of the first phase, despite the rising costs due to the credit crunch and the falling price of UK power.

The first phase consists of 175 turbines which is hoped will power up to 500,000 homes with the aim of finishing by 2012.

At the beginning of the year, Royal Dutch Shell pulled out of the consortium and it looked as though the 90 square mile, 341 turbine wind farm would never get off the ground.

It is hoped that on completion of the project, the London Array will cut emissions by 80 percent in the next 40 years and is seen as an integral part of supporting the UK’s lead move towards a low carbon future.

The construction will lead to hundreds of jobs and both Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth welcomed the project. However, Martin Harper of the RSPB said that the site expansion beyond the first phase could lead to a detrimental impact on bird life.

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News posted: May 13, 2009

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