London Array gets grid link

A wind farm in the Thames Estuary can finally go ahead after the government last week gave consent for overhead cables to connect the turbines to the grid.

Tenders will now be invited to install the 341 turbines for the 1,000MW London Array offshore between Clacton-on-Sea and Margate.

The scheme won planning permission almost a year ago. In September, the government backed a controversial substation at Cleve Hill in Kent after Swale Borough Council had refused it.

A spokesman for E.ON, which is developing the project with Shell WindEnergy and DONG Energy, said work is still set to begin in 2009.

Energy minister Malcolm Wicks has also approved a wind farm of up to 152 turbines near Walney Island off the coast of Cumbria. DONG is behind the scheme, which could generate electricity for about 360,000 homes.

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