RWE npower today announced the beginning of construction on its second major wind farm off the Welsh coastline. The company reaffirmed its commitment to renewable energy by signing a major contract with Siemens Power Generation to supply and install turbines for the 90MW Rhyl Flats offshore wind farm scheme due to be fully operational by mid 2009.
Once operational, Rhyl Flats, along with its neighbour North Hoyle, will produce enough clean, green electricity every year to meet the needs of over 100,000 homes and will prevent the release of around 410,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere every year.
npower will use the electricity from both wind farms to supply customers’ homes through its green product, npower juice. It will also help to power major UK businesses, including BT and Marks and Spencer, and supply venues such as Wembley Stadium and Lord’s with green electricity.
Malcolm Wicks MP, Minister for Energy at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, said: “Offshore wind farms can make a real contribution to the UK’s renewable electricity targets and we want to see more of them. We backed Rhyl Flats with a £10 million capital grant and we set out measures in the recent Energy White Paper that will provide even more support to developers through the Renewables Obligation.”
Andrew Duff, Chief Executive, RWE npower, said: “The Rhyl Flats Offshore Wind Farm scheme demonstrates our commitment to delivering clean, renewable power to our customers across the UK. As well as reducing CO2 emissions, this also represents a significant contribution towards Government targets for renewable energy generation. Offshore wind is commercially challenging but we are making this investment in expectation that support for offshore wind, as outlined in the recent energy white paper, will be delivered.”
Offshore foundation construction work at the Rhyl Flats site begins later this month, based out of the Port of Mostyn in Flintshire. Works installing the twenty-five 3.6 megawatt wind turbines will be begin in 2008.
Andreas Nauen, head of Siemens PG Wind Power division said: “This order strengthens our position as the leading supplier of offshore wind turbines for the European market. The Rhyl Flats Wind Farm is already the fourth offshore project Siemens is realizing in Great Britain and we are particularly proud that our technology is making a steadily growing contribution towards the implementation of an environmentally friendly, reliable power supply."
Over 150 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase between 2007 and 2009, with around a further 12 jobs being created to operate and maintain the wind farm once it is up and running.
The Rhyl Flats scheme was purchased by npower renewables from Celtic Offshore Wind Limited in 2002 after consent had been given for the project by the Department of Trade & Industry. npower renewables successfully developed and operates the UK’s first major offshore wind farm, North Hoyle, which began generating in 2003.
In line with RWE npower’s strategy to maintain its position as a leading developer and operator of renewable energy in the UK, Rhyl Flats is the second large scale wind investment announcement made this year. In February, RWE npower confirmed £100m for several onshore wind farm projects including Little Cheyne Court in Kent and Knabs Ridge in Yorkshire.