At 500 MW, Greater Gabbard off the east coast of England is the largest of two offshore wind projects granted consent by the British government last month for a total of 608 MW, the other being the 108 MW Ormonde project (above). Developed by Airtricity and Fluor 25 kilometres off Suffolk, Greater Gabbard is the first offshore wind farm to be built outside the UK's territorial waters. The 140 wind turbines will be installed around two shallow sandbanks -- the Inner Gabbard and Galloper. Fluor will undertake the project engineering, procurement and construction. The project partners are now able to move forward with financing and power purchase arrangements and hope to achieve financial close by the second half of this year. Meantime, the tendering process has begun for turbines and other equipment and offshore construction is expected to begin in 2009. Greater Gabbard is the third wind farm to secure approval under the government's second round of consenting, which is for generally larger offshore projects than in round one. The go-ahead comes just over two months after it was also given to the 1000 MW London Array and 300 MW Thanet projects. All three are located in the Outer Thames Estuary.
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