England

RWE pull out of Galloper wind farm scheme

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Media captionSimon Gray, of the East of England Energy Group, is sure another operator will take over the Galloper Wind farm project after RWE pulls out.

An energy firm has pulled out of a wind farm scheme that promised hundreds of jobs in Suffolk.

Energy company RWE has stopped work on the Galloper wind farm because of difficulties in raising finance in time to meet government rules.

Up to 85 turbines were to have been built 18 miles (30km) off the coast, bringing power to 330,000 homes.

MP Peter Aldous and the local council believe another energy firm will come forward to take over the project.

RWE said after partner Scottish and Southern Electricity (SSE) pulled out in March it could not meet finance deadlines to win government approval for a contract.

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Image caption Preparations had been made for operations at the port of Lowestestoft where supply vessels would be based

Hundreds of skilled workers were to have been based at ABP Port of Lowestoft and preparations had been made for electricity to come ashore at Sizewell.

Lowestoft Conservative MP Mr Aldous said he was disappointed but regarded the decision as a postponement and hoped another energy firm would take over the scheme.

"Galloper has got planning permissions, is in shallow water with no environmental or geological concerns and is the best place for an offshore wind farm.

"When SSE pulled out it became a race against time for RWE to get the finance and supply chain organisation together to secure a contract from the Department of Energy and Climate Change."

Bruce Provan, Waveney District Council's cabinet member for economic development, said: "While the withdrawal of RWE from the Galloper project is disappointing, we are confident that is only a bump in the road and not the end of the race.

"The required finance for the project can still be assembled.

"Therefore we are probably only looking at a delay of around 12 months while an alternative provider is found."

The Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "We have created the right investment conditions for offshore wind to flourish, and the UK is still the world leader in offshore wind.

"The sector is still growing, generating huge investment, creating jobs and supporting businesses around the country."

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