SSE and RWE npower have been given the go-ahead for a £1 billion offshore wind farm.
Galloper, a 50:50 joint venture between the two utilities, has received development consent from the UK government for the 140-turbine site 16 miles off the Suffolk coast. It is next to the existing Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm.
SSE’s managing director of renewables Jim Smith said the decision provided “important reassurance” about the UK government’s commitment to offshore wind.
“As well as having the potential to generate significant amounts of renewable energy, Galloper is a major infrastructure project that will bring investment and jobs into the UK,” he said.
The construction phase of the 504 megawatt project is expected to involve up to 850 jobs.
It will have the capacity to power up to half a million homes when it is completed in 2017 while the 140 turbines will double the capacity of the existing wind farm on the site.
Trade body RenewableUK said the decision was timely as major international companies were currently deciding where to build the factories that will supply Galloper and other offshore wind projects in the pipeline.
“That’s why it’s so important to get the policy framework right in the Energy Bill, so that the offshore wind supply chain can thrive in the UK,” said Nick Medic, RenewableUK’s director of offshore renewables.