Search

New investor puts windfarm back on track

PUBLISHED: 10:47 02 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:32 03 July 2010

PLANS to build an 88-turbine wind- farm off the north Norfolk coast are back on track after a multi-million-pound investment by Norway's state-owned power company.

PLANS to build an 88-turbine wind- farm off the north Norfolk coast are back on track after a multi-million-pound investment by Norway's state-owned power company.

A question was raised over the future of the Sheringham Shoal wind- farm in November when the company behind the plans, StatoilHydro, said it needed to find a new investor. It warned at the time that the global credit crisis would make finding a new investor “more challenging”. But yesterday, the new investor was revealed as Norway's publicly-owned power utility Statkraft, which has bought a 50pc stake in the £1.03bn project.

The new partnership has also acted swiftly to get the project started by placing a £414m order with the German engineering firm Siemens to build the 88 turbines. The deal will allow construction of the windfarm about 10 miles off the north Norfolk coast to begin this year and means it should be generating power by 2011.

Once complete, Sheringham Shoal will be Britain's fourth-largest offshore windfarm and will generate enough electricity for 220,000 homes.

Sue Vincent, of Scira, the company set up to manage the project for the investors, said: “There was a question mark over the project. That has been removed. We are now officially in the construction phase.”

Norman Lamb, Lib Dem MP for North Norfolk - who had called for British government intervention to save offshore wind projects in Nov-ember - welcomed yesterday's deal.

“This is good news. I support the project, although we have to ensure that the interests of fishermen are protected during construction, particularly the laying of cable from the windfarm to land,” Mr Lamb said.

“It is vitally important that we develop renewable energy offshore and it will be quite a boost to the north Norfolk economy,” he said.

“There will be a boat based at Wells servicing the site and people employed on land as back-up. A boat going out every day from Wells and the infrastructure to support it is good news for north Norfolk - and north Norfolk needs good news.”

Planning consent for the windfarm was granted by the government's Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform in August.

In November, StatoilHydro bought out its original partner in Sheringham Shoal, the Dutch firm Evelop, by “mutual consent”.

The windfarm is planned to cover about 13 square miles up to the border between British territorial waters and international waters.

Each of the 88 turbines is expected to stand 80m high.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Great Yarmouth Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury