, and have agreed and develop the massive, 1,000 megawatts offshore wind farm, ending months of uncertainty over whether the facility would even get done after Royal Dutch Shell pulled out of the project last year.
that the consortium plans to invest $2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) to support the construction of the project’s first phase.
According to Frank Mastiaux, Chief Executive of E.ON Climate and Renewables, the future of London Array seemed uncertain because of the poor market conditions and lack of credit but the investor group opted to go ahead and develop the farm after the British government said it would raise support for offshore wind developments in its 2009 budget.
“The London Array is a flagship project in our drive to cut emissions by 80% by 2050 and meet future energy needs,” said UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in a statement following the announcement from E.ON.
To cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 the UK is planning to construct between 30-35 gigawatts of wind power, including 20 gigawatts of offshore wind.
In the U.S., a recent report by the Interior Department claims that if fully developed the offshore U.S. East Coast could produce enough wind power to replace most of the country’s coal-fired power plants, which currently produce more than half of the country’s electricity.
Denmark’s Dong Energy holds 50% in the London Array project, E.ON UK 30% and Abu Dhabi’s state-owned green energy firm Masdar, controls the balance.
London Array is to be built on the River Thames estuary, around 12 miles (20 kilometers) off the coasts of Kent. It could start produce power in 2012.
Other offshore UK wind project includes the 315-megawatt Sheringham Shoal facility, jointly developed by StatoilHydro and Statkraft.