Plans unveiled to double size of the south coast's only wind farm

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Malcolm Shaw

Plans have been unveiled to double the size of the south coast's only wind farm.  More than one hundred turbines would be added to the existing Rampion array off of the Sussex coast.

Rampion has been harnessing the wind to generate electricity for almost three years, and now the company is looking to add another 116 turbines, possibly to the west of the existing array.

The technology is developing so quickly that the new turbines would be more cost-effective than the existing ones.

Work is now underway to identify exactly where the new wind farm would be built, and where the cable from it would come ashore to plug in to the national grid.  Construction could start in five years time.

The MP for Lewes, Maria Caulfield, says it could create many local job opportunities.She says: "As the wind farm comes online there is always job opportunities. Its very specialist work so there's training and opportunities for young people in Newhaven, but also across the coastal strip."

Ten years ago, wind power contributed only 3% of what we need in the UK. Now that is more than 20% on average.  And on other days, over 50%.

Sarah Olney MP, the Lim Dem's Energy Spokesperson says: "There is a small price to be paid in terms of how it looks. But the alternative is to either run out of fossil fuels in the not too distant future, or to be continuing to investing in carbon emitting forms of power. Which ultimately are really, really harmful for our environment."

Rampion wind farm

The existing Rampion wind farm generates enough clean, green power for 350,000 homes.

The more efficient turbines of Rampion 2 would add another one million to that figure.