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Offshore wind farm work to start

Work will start early next year on the UK’s biggest offshore wind farm at Robin Rigg in the Solway Firth.

E.ON UK has announced its plans to start construction on the £325m project which received planning permission more than three years ago.

The 180MW scheme – to be built about six miles off the Scottish coast – is due to be completed in spring 2009.

It will consist of 60 turbines and be able to produce enough energy to power about 150,000 homes.

E.ON UK chief executive Dr Paul Golby said the announcement underlined the company’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

He said that by keeping a wide mix of power sources they aimed to keep energy as affordable as possible.

The confirmation that work was set to start was welcomed by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy Lord Truscott.

“As an island nation, the UK has an excellent resource for offshore wind farms and, along with the Danes, we are world leaders in getting projects into the water,” he said.

“The government is committed to the development of the sector as it can help to meet the twin challenges of reducing CO2 emissions and securing energy supplies.”

He added that the government had already supported offshore developments with £107m in capital grants – including £18m to Robin Rigg.

“There is no doubt that developing offshore wind farms is challenging and the developer is to be congratulated for getting the construction phase under way,” he said.

bbc.co.uk