March 13 (UPI) -- The first turbines for the English Channel's Rampion wind farm, which will meet the demands of nearly 347,000 homes, are installed, a German company said.
German energy company E.ON said the first of the 116 turbines were installed off the coast of Sussex during the weekend. With a peak capacity of 400 megawatts, the Rampion wind farm will meet the average demands of nearly 347,000 average households, which is about half of the homes onshore in Sussex.
The British government said there are about two dozen wind farms in operation in its territorial waters, generating more than 5.1 gigawatts of power at combined peak capacity. Another 4.5 GW worth of offshore wind are under construction and the nation as a whole gets about 5 percent of its total power from offshore wind. Already hosting more offshore wind farms than any other country, the British government said it expects the demand capacity to grow to 10 percent by the end of the decade.
E.ON is working on Rampion developing through a partnership with Canadian energy company Enbridge and the U.K. Green Investment Bank. All 116 foundations for the turbines were anchored in the English Channel by November.
"The project is due to be completed and fully operational in 2018," the German company stated.
Nine countries that share a border with the North Sea -- Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden – agreed last year to improve infrastructure to support offshore wind.