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Offshore U.K. to host world's largest wind farm

Investment decision from DONG Energy comes as oil and gas sector faces decline.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Feb. 3, 2016 at 7:23 AM
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LONDON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- European renewables company DONG Energy said it made a final investment decision for its Hornsea project, the world's largest offshore wind farm ever planned.

DONG said it was moving forward with plans to build the Hornsea wind farm off the coast of Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Designed with a full capacity of more than 1,000 megawatts, it will be the world's largest offshore wind farm ever built.

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"We are excited about building this huge wind farm and pushing the boundaries of the offshore wind industry," DONG Energy CEO Henrik Poulsen said in a statement.

Hornsea will cover more than 150 square miles at a development site located about 75 miles offshore. DONG Energy is the sole owner of the wind farm that will be fully commissioned by 2020.

The development plans comes as the British government struggles to support a fading North Sea oil and gas sector. British Prime Minister David Cameron last week said his government was charting a new strategy to maximize economic recovery in the North Sea, where BP said it was shedding staff in response to lower crude oil prices.

The British Department of Energy and Climate Change expects Hornsea construction could create around 2,000 jobs, with 300 more coming during the operational phase. Though offshore oil and gas opportunities are under pressure, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said DONG's investment shows the renewable energy sector is growing.

"Dong Energy's investment shows that we are open for business and is a vote of confidence in the UK and in our plan to tackle the legacy of under-investment and build an energy infrastructure fit for the 21st century," she said in a statement.

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