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First wind turbine erected off south coast in 'most significant landmark' for green energy

Its taken seven years of planning, development and construction, but this weekend the first of 116 wind turbines off the coast of Brighton touched the sky.

The entire project isn't due to come online until 2018 but, with the sun shining, residents have been given their first glimpse of what clean energy for more than 300,000 homes looks like.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Chris Tomlinson of the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm.

South coast's first wind farm completes 'major milestone' - exclusive report

It's the first wind farm ever to be built off the south coast and for the last ten months residents in Sussex have watched it expanding along their horizon.

Environmental experts say that with global temperatures for the last five years the hottest on record, projects like the Rampion wind farm could prove vital - and it's just completed the first major milestone in its construction.

Andy Dickenson has this exclusive report and speaks to Chris Tomlinson from the project as well as Dr Florian Kern of Sussex University.


Work begins on wind farm off Sussex coast

A 'subsea grab' used for moving boulders Credit: Natural PR

Work will begin this week at the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, in readiness for the first foundation installation in January. This will include clearing boulders on the seabed along the cable route.

There will be 116 turbines, reduced from the initial plan of 175, eight miles off the coast between Peacehaven and Worthing.

Chris Tomlinson, E.ON Development Manager for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, said: "After five years in development, following successful consultation, consent and contracting, we're delighted to be able to confirm that work will commence this week to prepare the seabed for turbine installation."

Have your say on Navitus Bay wind farm plans

A drop in session is being held later in Bournemouth regarding plans for a wind farm in between Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

Navitus Bay would see nearly 200 turbines in the English Channel Credit: ITV Meridian

Navitus Bay would see nearly two hundred turbines, up to two hundred metres high in the English Channel.

Hundreds turned out to the last drop in session over Navitus Bay plans Credit: ITV Meridian

The public has until June the twenty third to register their comments with the Planning Inspectorate - which is on hand today to show how to do that.

Politicians' support for Sussex wind farm

Norman Baker MP Credit: PA

Norman Baker, MP for Lewes, said: “I’m pleased that matters are moving forward. This development, if given permission, will create an initial 85 jobs in Newhaven, as well as helping the UK both to become more energy self-sufficient and cut carbon emissions.”

Caroline Lucas MP Credit: PA

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: "Following a period of further consultation by E.ON, I’m delighted that the proposals for the Rampion wind farm are now back on the table and hope the project will get the green light.

"This exciting clean energy development could provide secure and sustainable power for a huge number of homes in Brighton and Hove – as well as creating local jobs, slashing carbon emissions and boosting the region’s reputation as a place for investment in green industries.”

Sussex windfarm gets 'consideration go-ahead'

The London Array windfarm off the Kent coast recently reached full capacity. Credit: E.ON

Plans for energy firm E.ON’s Rampion offshore wind farm have been accepted for consideration by the Planning Inspectorate.

The company said feedback from over 1,500 people and organisations in Sussex has been used to shape the wind farm proposals.

Chris Tomlinson, project manager, said: "The feedback has helped us further reduce the impact on the local community, while maintaining a project capable of generating electricity for the needs of two thirds of the homes in Sussex.”

If built, the wind farm could have up to 175 turbines and a capacity of 700MW which could generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of around 450,000 homes.

The news comes as the London Array - the world’s largest offshore wind farm, off the Kent coast, in which E.ON also has a 30% stake - reached full capacity on Friday with the commissioning of the 175th and final turbine.


New heights for wind farms

Britain's largest wind farm, off the Kent coast, has reached full capacity for the first time.

The 175 turbines of the London Array are now creating enough power to supply half a million homes. It has taken two years to complete the project.

Meanwhile 195 turbines could be built off the Sussex coast. An exhibition of the latest plans for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, off Newhaven, will take place in Brighton today.

Wind farm consultation begins

People can now have their say on plans for a wind farm off the coast of Sussex.

E.ON want to build between 100 and 175 turbines off Newhaven. The Secretary of State will also examine the proposal for the Rampion project.

The application for the off shore wind farm, with a generating capacity of up to 700MW, was submitted on March 1st and accepted for examination three weeks later.