An energy company has reaffirmed its support for its £2 billion windfarm project despite a rival firm pulling out of a similar large-scale scheme claiming it is currently not viable.
German energy firm E.ON has told The Argus it “remains committed” to the Rampion offshore wind project, which could eventually provide power to two-thirds of the county’s homes.
The reassurance comes as rivals RWE announced it was pulling the plug on its £4 billion windfarm in the Bristol Channel claiming the financing of the current technology makes the project unfeasible in the current climate.
The Rampion site is proposed for 13km off the Sussex coast and could feature up to 175 turbines.
The site has the potential to generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of around 450,000 homes.
If granted permission by the national Planning Inspectorate next year, construction work on the project could begin by early 2015 and be in full operation by 2018/19.
Last month engineers began survey work along the proposed onshore cable route from Brooklands Pleasure Park in Worthing to the proposed substation site in Twineham near Burgess Hill.
Committed Offshore geotechnical site investigations, which started in July, are due to be complete in January depending on weather conditions.
An E.ON spokeswoman said: “E.ON remains committed to the Rampion offshore wind project and has worked hard to shape its proposals, which are now being considered by the Planning Inspectorate.
“A final decision on whether consent for the wind farm will be granted will be made in summer 2014.
“Last month we began survey work along the proposed onshore cable route from Brooklands Pleasure Park to the proposed sub-station site in Twineham.
“This work will allow us to plan construction of the route in more detail and is due to be completed by the end of the year.”
In a statement RWE said that in light of significant technical challenges identified from intensive research the firm considered it was not viable to continue with Bristol Channel development at the current time.
Paul Cowling, director of Offshore Wind at RWE Innogy, said: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly. However, given the technological challenges and market conditions, now is not the right time for RWE to continue to progress with this project.”
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