Plans developed for south coast offshore wind farm

Map showing the new offshore UK wind farm zones Licences for the nine sites around the UK were granted in January

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Plans for a 100-sq-mile (256-sq-km) wind farm off the Dorset, Hampshire and Isle of Wight coasts have moved a step closer.

The proposed area, to the west of the Isle of Wight, is one of nine areas around the UK earmarked for large offshore wind farm projects.

The Isle of Wight licence was won by Eneco Wind UK and has a potential yield of 900MW to power 600,000 homes.

For the past two weeks residents have been able to see displays of the plan.

Representatives of Eneco Wind UK were on hand at the events in Weymouth, Swanage, Poole, Bournemouth, Lymington and Freshwater to talk to people about the development, its current status and the next steps.

The firm said it would be developing about 30% of the 280-sq-mile zone (725-sq-km).

The final design and layout of the wind farm will be decided through consultations with the general public, local authorities and community and environmental groups, Eneco Wind UK said.

Construction is set to begin in 2016, subject to planning consent. The wind farm would be fully operational by 2018, the firm said.

The winners of the licences at the nine sites around the UK have signed exclusive agreements with the Crown Estate, which owns the UK seabed.

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