Rampion wind farm construction gets under way

Computer image of wind farm off Brighton Image copyright Other
Image caption The wind farm will be visible from Brighton beach, as seen in this computer-generated image

Construction of an electricity substation to serve the first wind farm off the south coast of England is to start next month.

Work on the substation at Twineham, near Haywards Heath, West Sussex, will be followed by preparations for cabling across the South Downs National Park.

Energy firm E.On said offshore construction on the 116-turbine Rampion wind farm would begin early next year.

The number of turbines was cut from 175 to reduce the impact on the sea views.

'Vote of confidence'

The £1.3bn wind farm eight miles off the Sussex coast could produce enough electricity for about 300,000 homes and create up to 450 jobs.

E.On has said it would reduce CO2 emissions by up to 600,000 tonnes a year.

The turbines, between Peacehaven and Worthing, will be visible from beaches along the coast including at Brighton, and from the national park.

"This huge investment is a vote of confidence in the UK, creating local jobs, bringing business opportunities and providing clean, home-grown energy," said Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye.

Construction of the wind farm is expected to be completed in 2018.

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