AN INFORMAL consultation on expanding the Rampion wind farm opens today.

The plan would see the existing wind farm double in size, adding 116 new turbines off the coast of Sussex.

The site would also be connected to the national grid through an underground cable stretching from Climping to Bolney.

The four-week Rampion 2 consultation aims to "awareness and seek feedback" on the proposals to expanding the wind farm.

The Argus: The Rampion Wind Farm under construction off the coast of Sussex. Photograph taken by Simon Dack.

Depending on the final scheme, Rampion 2 could power more than one million homes in the UK and reduce carbon emissions by around 1.8 million tonnes per year.

Chris Tomlinson, development and stakeholder manager of Rampion 2 said: "For the past 18 months, we have undertaken a series of desktop studies and site surveys to establish the physical lay of the land.

"We have also been talking with many local authorities, MPs, parish councils and experts on wildlife, environment, transport, geology, archaeology, business and fishing.

“We will use the results of our investigations and stakeholder engagement to identify the best possible sites for the onshore and offshore project elements while minimising disturbance to the local community and environment in delivering this vital green energy project.

“At this early stage, we would very much welcome feedback from the Sussex community so that we are aware of all local issues, concerns and constraints as we prepare more detailed proposals for a formal public consultation later this year.”

READ MORE >> Rampion wind farm off Sussex coast could double in size

A full and formal consultation will follow later in the year, ahead of the submission of a development consent application to build the new, clean energy infrastructure project.

In autumn last year, it was announced that an offshore area was being assessed for a maximum of up to 116 turbines, the same number as the existing Rampion offshore wind farm.

The results of technical and environmental surveys and stakeholder feedback will be used to identify the optimum site for the new wind farm.

If consent is awarded, construction would begin 2025/26 at the "earliest" with a view to having a completed, operational project before the end of the decade.