RWE npower fired a fresh salvo in the battle for green energy customers yesterday with plans for its biggest wind farm in Britain.
The German-owned energy group said that it was beginning construction of its second offshore wind farm at Rhyl Flats, off the North Wales coast.
The £190 million 90 megawatt project, using 25 Siemens turbines, is expected to be operational by the middle of 2009. Combined with RWE npower’s existing 60MW site at North Hoyle near by, the group will have enough capacity to supply 100,000 homes with “green” electricity each year.
The move comes two weeks after Powergen, owned by RWE’s rival E.ON, launched an advertising campaign backing its own green credentials. The campaign comes despite industry figures showing that Powergen is the “dirtiest” of the Big Six energy providers in terms of carbon emissions because of its reliance on coal-fired power stations.
Andrew Duff, the chief executive RWE npower, said: “The Rhyl Flats scheme demonstrates our commitment to delivering clean, renewable power. Offshore wind is commercially challenging, but we are making this investment in expectation that support for offshore wind, as outlined in the Energy White Paper, will be delivered.”
Malcolm Wicks, reappointed as Energy Minister yesterday, signalled that the Government would deliver support, adding that it had backed Rhyl Flats with a £10 million capital grant.
RWE npower already supplies Marks & Spencer, Wembley stadium and Lord’s cricket ground with green electricity.
There are four wind farm projects operating in the UK. Seven more have been approved by the government and development plans for four others have been submitted.
By Steve Hawkes
11 July 2007
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