The Dutch government has granted consent to the country's largest wind farm -- the 260 MW offshore West Rijn project in the North Sea. Developer Airtricity, the renewables division of Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), plans to install 72 turbines 40 kilometres off the Hook of Holland. The government is aiming to approve a further 450 MW of offshore wind by mid-2011 and by 2020 it hopes to see 6 GW built. The Dutch market is an important new area for SSE's renewables development team, says Paul Dowling from Airtricity. "West Rijn is the first in a number of projects which will give us the opportunity to become the leading offshore wind developer in the Netherlands." Airtricity will now apply for financial help under the Dutch renewables support mechanism. West Rijn is the first offshore wind farm to receive consent in the Netherlands for almost seven years. In December, the government refused Evelop's offshore Scheveningen Buiten project of over 300 MW, saying it endangered shipping off the Hook of Holland waiting to enter the harbour.
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