Department of Energy and Climate Change
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North Wales coast will be renewables powerhouse
Potential for more than a half million homes to be powered from wind
The world's second largest offshore wind farm has been given the green light to be built off the coast of North Wales.
Gwynt y Mor Offshore Wind Farm combined with three other nearby wind farms off the North Wales coast will provide enough clean, green electricity to power the equivalent of 680,000 homes.
The 750MW development by Npower Renewables Ltd has been approved by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Comprising of up to 250 turbines, it will lie some eight miles off the coast, ten miles from Llandudno and eleven miles from the Wirral.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said:
"The North Wales coast is set to become a powerhouse for renewable energy. Gwynt y Mor will be the largest of four offshore wind farms which combined will have the potential to power the equivalent of around 680,000 homes with green electricity.
"The UK must clean up its energy supply to fight the damaging effects of climate change and more wind power will help us do this.
"The UK is leading the world in offshore wind, and the developments off the coast of North Wales will help keep us front runners."
A spokesperson for the British Wind Energy Association said:
"This is fantastic news. Gwynt y Mor is a landmark project both for Wales and the United Kingdom as a whole. It brings the total offshore projects with planning approval to 4.5 GW, solidifying UK's position as leader in offshore wind energy. It will also set us well on our way towards reaching our 2020 renewable energy targets.
"The offshore sector remains vibrant, with the total capacity installed expected to grow to 1.8 GW within the next 24 months. The momentum is now behind wind as a viable source of sustainable energy, and the Government and industry must continue to work together in order to deliver projects both on and offshore."
Gwynt y Mor is the latest wind farm to be approved off the North Wales coast. North Hoyle (30 turbines) and Burbo (25 turbines) are already up and running, Rhyl Flats (25 turbines) is into the latter half of its construction phase.
A map of the four wind farms can be found at http://www.npower-renewables.com/gwyntymor/location.asp.
In granting approval, DECC took into account both the distance of the development from the shore and work Npower Renewables Ltd had done to minimise the visual impact.
Notes to Editors
1. Consent has been granted to Npower Renewables Ltd for the 750MW Gwynt y Mor wind farm under Section 36 of the 1989 Electricity Act.
2. The wind farm has also been granted a licence from the Welsh Assembly Government under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 and another consent from the Marine and Fisheries Agency under the Coast Protection Act 1949.
3. North Hoyle, Rhyl Flats and Gwynt y Mor are all projects being managed by npower renewables. Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm is managed by DONG Energy.