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Offshore wind farm sites approved

Five offshore coastal wind farms are set to be developed to help generate enough energy for 1.4M new homes across the country.

Plans to develop the sites, off the coasts of Suffolk, Kent, Cumbria and in Liverpool Bay, were approved by the Crown Estate.

Subject to new planning applications and assessments, which will take into account the environmental impact of the wind farms, developers will extend the areas these wind farms cover, providing an extra 1.7GW of power.

In addition to the five wind farms, two projects in Norfolk have been given permission to install extra capacity to use more wind energy in their areas. This will take the total amount of extra power generated to 2GW.

Crown Estate director of the marine estate Rob Hastings said the expansions had been driven by “developers’ appetite” for offshore wind.

“It is another positive step in the maturing of the offshore wind industry and will significantly support the growth of the supply chain as it adds further to the pipeline of construction projects,” he said.

“This announcement shows the Crown Estate’s commitment to help develop this maturing sector with a view to driving the UK offshore wind energy industry forward and creating a long-term sustainable energy source for the UK.”

It is hoped the developments will add to England’s energy security and provide jobs and a stable flow of construction projects for the supply chain before the massive “Round 3” expansion of offshore wind kicks in.

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