Margate; Prime Minister Opens Windfarm

Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain is a "great place to invest'' as he heralded the opening of the world's largest offshore wind farm, London Array.



Mr Cameron described London Array, in the outer Thames Estuary, as a "big win for Britain'' which proves the country is capable of delivering large-scale projects.

The Prime Minister spoke at the inauguration of the fully functioning wind farm which reached full capacity earlier this year with the commissioning of its 175th and final turbine.

All of its turbines export power to the national grid and could produce enough green electricity to power nearly half a million homes a year.

Mr Cameron said that when it comes to green energy, Britain has ``one of the clearest, most predictable investment climates'', and that the Government plans to add to that by completing the Energy Bill later this year.

David Cameron at opening of London Array

He said at the Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate, Kent: "Today is very simple. It's a triple win.

"First of all it's a huge win for Kent. This project has been built by some of the bravest seaman, some of the most talented engineers, some of the hardest workers, and it's going to continue to bring benefits to people in Kent for many, many years to come.

"The second thing that it's a big win for is renewable energy. Sometimes people wonder, 'Can you really have renewable energy projects at scale?'.

"What the London Array shows - powering half a million homes, the biggest offshore wind farm anywhere in the world - it absolutely shows that you can do scale renewables and you can do them right here in Britain.

"And that leads me to the third and I think the most important win of all, and it's a very big win for Britain. Sometimes people wonder, 'Can we in the West do big projects any more? Can we do the big investments? Isn't that all happening somewhere else in the east and south of our world?'.

"If you look at the UK you can see we can do big projects. Not only did we do a superb Olympics, but under London Crossrail is the biggest construction project anywhere in Europe.

"Not far from here is London Gateway, which is the biggest port construction taking place anywhere in Europe, and here you have the biggest offshore construction anywhere in the world.

"I think this demonstrates Britain is a great place to invest.''

London Array is built around 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex and it is predicted that it will lead to a cut in CO2 emissions of more than 900,000 tonnes a year.

Its consortium partners include offshore wind farm developers Dong Energy (50%), power and gas firm E.On (30%) and Abu Dhabi renewable energy firm Masdar (20%).

Brent Cheshire, UK chairman of Dong Energy, said London Array marks a "real milestone'' towards cutting the cost of offshore wind.

He said: "As projects get even bigger and move further offshore, we must continue to harvest the advantages of scale to bring down the costs.''

Tony Cocker, chief executive officer of E.On UK, said: "We firmly believe that electricity from renewable sources has a vital part to play in helping us deliver energy in a way that is sustainable, affordable and secure.''

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