Vattenfall’s board of directors has signed off the company’s 49.5MW Kentish Flats Extension (KFE), consented by the UK government earlier this year.
Fifteen huge turbines will be erected 8km off Whitstable and Herne Bay. The turbines will have a hub height of 83.6m, a tip height of 139.6m and a wingspan of 112m.
The Kentish Flats offshore wind farm already has 30 turbines, generating 90MW.
Under the envisaged timetable, onshore works will begin before the end of 2014, foundations will be installed in the second quarter of 2015, and electricity will start to be generated in early 2016.
Vattenfall project manager Matthew Green said: “Vattenfall’s decision to invest around £150m in Kentish Flats Extension is the final hurdle that needs to be cleared before construction can start in 2015. It’s good to get that and I’m looking forward to leading the construction team over the next two and a half years. We will now complete a period of intense detailed engineering and planning for the construction phase in 2015.”
Energy secretary Ed Davey said: “I am delighted that Vattenfall are going to proceed with the Kentish Flats Extension project. This is testament to the power of inward investment in the UK. Offshore wind is a major success story for the UK which brings economic benefit to our shores, supports thousands of skilled jobs and is an important contributor to our energy mix. The UK is well placed to maintain its position as the world’s biggest offshore wind market out to 2020.”
Peter Wesslau, Vattenfall’s UK country manager, said: “Vattenfall is committed to developing wind power in the UK. Since May this year we have promised to invest, in total, more than £600m in two onshore wind power schemes and now offshore with Kentish Flats Extension. The UK is currently one of the most attractive places in Europe to invest in wind power and we are keen to continue building our business here.”
Vattenfall also owns and operates the nearby 300MW Thanet Offshore Wind Farm.