The seas off the coast of Kent are becoming an integral part of Britain’s offshore wind industry, and are now home to 21% of the UK’s offshore wind capacity.
Earlier this month, at the inauguration of the Kentish Flats Extension Offshore Wind Farm, Vattenfall, the project’s operator, highlighted the importance of Kent as a hub of offshore wind development. The opening ceremony was attended by Mark Dance, UK Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Kent County Council, as well as other officials from Vattenfall. The ceremonial ribbon-cutting was held for the 49.5 MW extension, which adds to the existing 90 MW which was already installed and has been operating for 11 years.
“Kentish Flats Extension is an important addition to our European fleet of offshore wind farms,” said Gunnar Groebler, Vattenfall’s Vice President of Business Area Wind. “The innovation we have deployed at KFE takes Vattenfall on its next step towards really competitive offshore wind.”
“It is also an important newcomer to offshore wind off the Kent coast. We hope that local people around Herne Bay and Whitstable will value this new wind farm. There is an important international centre of offshore wind excellence emerging along the Kent coast, supporting the local economy, and we are happy to be part of that success story.”
This latest development originating out of Kent also serves to “build and strengthen the existing local skills base and develop and sustain existing supply chains, helping to ensure that places like Kent stay at the forefront of the offshore wind industry,” Groebler added.
The seas offshore from Kent are now home to an impressive 1,074 MW of offshore wind, or 21% of the UK’s total offshore wind capacity. This includes KFE’s 49.5 MW, Vattenfall’s 300 MW Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, the 90 MW Kentish Flats Offshore Wind Farm now its 49.5 MW extension, and the nearby 635 MW London Array owned by E.on and partners.
“We are really pleased to support the expansion of one of the UK’s pioneering offshore wind farms,” said Mark Dance in advance of the ceremony earlier this month. “It is great to think that the lasting benefits to our local economy and people is happening off the Kent coast and that we are at the forefront of this technology.”
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