This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 16, 2003

U.K. Seeks 6,000 Megawatts of Offshore Wind Power

The United Kingdom opened three large offshore areas to wind power developers on July 14th, creating the potential to add as much as 6,000 megawatts of new offshore wind power. The U.K. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has asked the Crown Estate, which manages the U.K. sovereign lands, to invite developers to bid on leases within the three areas, all located off the shores of England. A previous request limited each offshore wind project to 30 turbines, but has resulted in 17 projects that would total 1,500 megawatts in capacity, if they are all developed. DTI has not set a size limit in the latest round and claims that some developers are interested in projects as large as 1,000 megawatts. Once developers arrange for their offshore lease, they will still need to develop detailed project proposals, conduct environmental impact statements, and apply for approval from the U.K. government. See the announcement on the DTI Offshore Wind Web page.

Nearby in Ireland, the first wind power project in the Irish Sea is expected to begin construction this summer, featuring the new 3.6-megawatt wind turbines from GE Wind Energy, the largest wind turbines currently available. GE Wind Energy unveiled the new turbine in December 2002, shortly after installing the first prototype on land in Spain. The company will operate the new 25-megawatt Irish facility as a demonstration site for the first two years, after which Ireland's Airtricity will hold an option to purchase the facility. See the GE Wind Energy press release (PDF 85 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.