24 November 2011
Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for Kent and the South East, has welcomed £150m of European funding for the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm. The long-term funding was given by the European Investment Bank to support the development of the UK’s capacity to generate renewable energy.
The Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, the largest offshore wind farm operating anywhere in the world, has 100 wind turbines, each 115m tall, and generates enough energy to supply more than 200,000 homes with clean electricity. The wind farm, inaugurated in September 2010, contributes to the UK achieving EU renewable energy targets of generating 15% of our energy from renewable sources by 2020.
Keith Taylor said: “Its fantastic news that Thanet has secured this investment. By supplying 200,000 homes with green power this wind farm is helping to meet the UK’s target to increase our use of clean, renewable energy to 15% of our energy use by 2020. At the same time it’s helping to create jobs and expertise in renewables in the South East. This long-term investment demonstrates a European commitment to wind energy, and I hope will be an example and inspiration for other green energy projects throughout Europe.”
The European Investment Bank is also expected to fund a transmission link connecting the Thanet wind farm to the national grid. The European Investment Bank has provided key funding for development of offshore wind farms since 2002. Five large scale wind farms funded by the EIB are now operational, representing nearly 40% of the global installed capacity. Other projects supported by the EIB in UK waters include the world’s largest planned wind farm London Array.
Notes to Editors
1. Thanet Off-shore Wind Farm is located 12km off Foreness Point, the eastern most part of Kent. The entire Thanet wind farm covers 35 square kilometres. Thanet produces enough electricity to supply more than 200,000 homes with clean electricity. European Investment Bank support for the project has been dependent on fulfilment of comprehensive environmental assessments, including evaluation of the project’s potential impact on marine and birdlife.
2. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. It has been active in the UK since 1973, supporting investment ranging from motorways and rail, to water supply and treatment, energy schemes, hospitals, universities, high-tech development in industry, as well as small and medium-sized businesses. In the last five years (2006-2010) it channelled over £17 billion into projects in the UK, including £4 billion in 2010.