Power began flowing from Britain's first large offshore wind farm when North Hoyle was "switched on" on November 21. The 60 MW wind station was developed by National Wind Power (NWP), a subsidiary of UK power giant Innogy. It comprises 30 Vestas 2 MW turbines off the north Wales coast. Electricity from the plant is to be supplied to customers buying a brand of green electricity sold under the name "Juice," in a collaboration between electricity retailer npower -- sister company to NWP in the Innogy stable -- and environment campaign group Greenpeace. Juice was launched to demonstrate to government that customers are keen to sign up to power from offshore wind. Npower says support from Juice customers was instrumental in gaining an early consent for the project. An address by prime minister Tony Blair was broadcast at inaugural events for the wind station in north Wales and London. Blair praised the unique alliance between npower and Greenpeace, which just a few years ago "would have been the most unlikely of partnerships." He added: "Rolling out this first large scale offshore wind venture is a highly significant step toward achieving Britain's renewables goal." North Hoyle is just one of the very first steps along the way, he said. "It's got to be followed by many more like it." Now that "Juice" is beginning to flow from their first venture at North Hoyle, npower and Greenpeace have launched the next stage of their initiative. The "npower Juice Fund" is designed to assist the development of other renewables projects, such as wave or tidal energy. For every year that a customer remains loyal to Juice, npower will donate £10 into the fund. With the potential for up to 50,000 Juice customers, this would mean a maximum of £500,000 a year to support the next generation of clean energy sources, says Greenpeace's Stephen Tindale.
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