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Friend of the Earth welcome Sussex windfarm project
A 175-TURBINE offshore wind farm which has been given the green light by the Government has been described as "fantastic" for Sussex.
German energy giant E.ON has the all clear to build the giant facility 13km off the Sussex coast – with construction expected to start next year.
The farm is estimated to support 750 jobs and bring in £2 billion in investment to the economy.
When complete the 700 megawatt facility will power 450,000 homes.
And Brenda Pollack, from Friends of the Earth, described the approval as “fantastic”.
She said: “The Rampion offshore wind farm will support hundreds of jobs, boost the economy and reduce our reliance on dirty fossil fuels.
“The UK’s huge wind potential could make a major contribution to our energy needs, and help Britain meet its climate change goals.”
The farm, which is the first on the south coast of England, will be located 13km to 20km off the Sussex coast between Worthing to the west and Seaford in the east.
It will be visible from the shore from Selsey Bill all the way to Beachy Head as well as from the Isle of Wight.
Each turbine will be between 180m and 210m tall and will cover a total area of 86 square miles.
An onshore substation will also be built around 1.5 miles south-west of Bolney with 16 miles of underground cabling connecting it.
When fully operational, which is expected in 2018, the farm is expected to produce enough energy to power two-thirds of the homes in Sussex.
E.ON has also promised the wind farm will boost the local economy with up to 85 full-time jobs and the use of local suppliers.
The company has also said Newhaven Port will be the facility’s maintenance base and added that a visitor centre could be built.
Michael Lewis, chief operating officer for E.ON, said work will begin on the project next year with its completion expected in 2018 or 2019.
He added: “This is a key milestone for the project and we firmly believe Rampion will play an important role in helping to ensure future security of supply and make a significant contribution towards meeting the UK's renewable energy targets.”
Chris Tomlinson, development manager for Rampion, added: "The wind farm will not only help generate jobs during both construction and operation, but also provide a boost to the port regeneration at Newhaven and the local economy.”
MP for Lewes Norman Baker said it is “great news for Newhaven”.