Walney wind farm £15m 'local co-operation' fund

Walney Offshore wind farm
Image caption Once completed, Walney would be the largest offshore wind farm in the world, Dong said

The company building one of the world's largest offshore wind farms will invest £15m in community and environmental projects, it has said.

Danish firm Dong Energy intends to add 90 turbines to the existing 102 at the Walney facility off the Cumbria coast.

Of an annual £600,000 fund, £100,000 will be ring-fenced to support engineering training.

The money recognised local co-operation on which the company relies, it said.

"We believe it is important to support local communities in the areas around our developments," UK chairman Brent Cheshire said.

The Walney Extension had a "long-term relationship" with the region, he added.

The expanded wind farm, which is one of four in the area, is expected to be fully commissioned by 2019 when it will be the world's largest, Dong said.

Covering about 55 sq miles (145 sq km) it will be capable of supplying energy to more than 500,000 homes.

Dong said the new fund would last for the 25-year life of the project.

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