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Go ahead for £1.5bn wind farm project

The Norwegian firms behind a proposed £1.5bn wind farm off the coast of Norfolk have announced plans to begin work on the project.

Statoil and Statkraft said they would start building the Dudgeon offshore wind farm in 2016, and aimed to have it at full production by the end of 2017.

Dudgeon, which will provide renewable energy for about 400,000 homes when completed, is one of eight major renewables projects that controversially received energy price deals without competition, under a government initiative to speed investment.

These deals came under heavy scrutiny from spending watchdog the Nation Audit Office last month.

Energy minister Michael Fallon celebrated the Dudgeon investment announcement.

“Today’s decision underlines the success of our new contracts and will bring about a steady stream of investment in renewable electricity,” he said.

“As the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind, the UK is attracting millions of pounds of investment, supporting hundreds of local green jobs and strengthening its energy supply with home-grown sources.”

Trade body RenewableUK earlier this year warned that energy firms could quit the UK offshore wind market unless the investment environment improved.

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