ENERGY giant E.ON has unveiled the final design for its Rampion offshore wind farm project.
Situated a little more than eight miles off the coast at its nearest point, the wind farm would feature 116 turbines, each measuring 140 metres tall, which would be visible from Worthing, Shoreham and Littlehampton.
It would have the capacity to generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of up to 290,000 homes and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 600,000 tonnes per year.
Chris Tomlinson, E.ON development manager for the Rampion wind farm, said: “Our final proposed wind farm design seeks to optimise the scheme in the best seabed conditions as part of our continuing drive to reduce the costs of offshore wind.
“We are now finalising our construction plans and moving closer to being able to secure jobs during both construction and operation.
“We look forward to moving the project forward and to generating large-scale renewable energy, helping to secure future electricity supplies.”
Chris Todd, spokesman for Friends of the Earth, said: “This is really good news as it brings us another step closer to reducing our carbon emissions here in Sussex.
“We also welcome the fact that E.ON has altered the size and layout of the wind farm, which will dramatically reduce the visual impact from the Heritage Coast and the wider South Downs.”
Peter Davies, development director at Shoreham Port, added: “We welcome the final proposals which ensure the port’s future, as Rampion will no longer affect its anchorage and will maintain straight passage for ships into and out of the port.”
In reaching the optimised wind farm design, E.ON has reviewed the results of extensive on and offshore engineering surveys and their associated technical and cost implications, alongside the commercial and environmental considerations raised during the examination of the development consent order application.
During the proposed three- year offshore construction period, it is estimated that 250 to 300 jobs would be created and local vessels would be utilised, with 40 roles being based at the project management facility in Newhaven Port. It is envisaged that a workforce of up to 100 would be working on the onshore cable route – which will run through Brooklands, in East Worthing, up to Bolney – while around 40 to 60 people would be employed at the onshore substation during the proposed two-year onshore construction.
It is estimated that up to 65 full-time, permanent jobs would be created at the operations base in Newhaven Port once the wind farm is commissioned and fully operational.
E.ON has vowed to keep the local community informed on the project’s progress, and will be working to make sure local residents are aware of the onshore and offshore activities associated with the building of the Rampion wind farm.
The Rampion project remains set to become the first offshore wind farm off the south coast of England.
A final timetable for construction is yet to be finalised.