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Go-Ahead For World’s Most Expensive Wind Farm, May Cost UK Families £10.5 Billion In Green Levies

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Ben Spencer, Daily Mail

The world’s largest offshore wind farm has been given the go-ahead to be built in British waters.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey has granted planning permission for the ambitious scheme – which could cost bill payers more than £10.5billion in green subsidies.

The plan is for 400 turbines to be erected in a giant grid structure 80 miles off the Yorkshire coast, covering 430sq miles in the area known as Dogger Bank.

The plan is for 400 turbines to be erected in a giant grid structure 80 miles off the Yorkshire coast, covering 430sq miles in the area known as Dogger Bank

The Creyke Beck wind farms would be more than twice the size of the London Array, currently the world’s biggest offshore wind farm. 

The turbines are expected to power 1.8million homes – about 2.5 per cent of Britain’s entire electricity requirement.

The building costs of the project are estimated at up to £8billion, which will be paid by Forewind, an international consortium of energy companies SSE, RWE, Statkraft and Statoil.

But if the plan is approved for inclusion in the Government’s subsidy scheme, Contracts for Difference, the firms could expect to make their money back within a decade because it would guarantee them a fixed price for the electricity they produce. 

The decision on inclusion in the Contracts for Difference will be made by 2017 by whoever is Energy Secretary at the time, and then Forewind will decide whether to begin construction or not.

If the consortium is granted access to the programme, which is funded through a green subsidy on energy bills, it can expect to receive an estimated £700million a year – or £10.5billion over the 15 years of guaranteed funding.

He said: ‘The Creyke Beck offshore wind farm would receive about £700million a year, and all drawn from consumer bills. 

‘Additional energy costs on this scale will affect the course of British economic history, and not for the better. The last time public subsidies on this scale were directed towards a single industry it was called British Leyland. Arguably, not a good omen.’

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