Rampion offshore windfarm has been officially opened at a ceremony in Brighton.
The 400MW installation is located between 13 and 25 kilometres off the Sussex coast. First power was generated in November 2017, with all 116 turbines up and running by April.
Energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry said: “It’s great to see the south coast’s first offshore wind farm opening, powering around 350,000 homes, creating hundreds of high quality jobs and building on our reputation as a world leader in this sector.”
Eon is the majority owner, holding a 50.1 per cent share.
“Wind power, both onshore and offshore, continues to prove itself as a key part of the UK’s future energy mix and sits as a cost-effective alternative to higher carbon forms of power generation,” said Eon chief executive Michael Lewis.
“Not only will Rampion play a vital role in helping the UK meet its commitment to decarbonise the energy sector but it will continue to support the local economy, sparking the regeneration of Newhaven Port, sustaining highly skilled roles including apprenticeships as well as introducing the £3.1 million Rampion Fund for community organisations and projects over the next decade.”
The company says it now owns almost 1.2GW of renewable generation capacity in the UK after investing more than £2.5 billion in the sector over the last decade.
The remaining stake in Rampion is split between Canadian energy firm Enbridge (24.9 per cent) and UK Green Investment Rampion (25 per cent) – a consortium consisting of the Green Investment Group (GIG), an infrastructure investment fund managed by Macquarie and the Universities Superannuation Scheme.
GIG associate director Matt Porter said: “As the UK’s world leading offshore wind fleet continues to grow in size and complexity, it’s becoming increasingly critical to match the right capital with the right project. That’s what we’ve achieved here with Rampion, enabling the first offshore wind project off the UK’s south coast to come to life.”
Ofgem will shortly begin the process of selecting a new owner for the transmission link for Rampion. The regulator recently appointed Diamond Transmission Partners as the preferred bidder to own and operate the connection for the Galloper offshore windfarm.