Sussex

Faulty Rampion offshore wind farm set for expansion

The wind farm stretches over 72 square kilometres Image copyright Rampion Offshore Wind
Image caption The wind farm, which stretches over 72 square kilometres, could be expanded

A £1bn offshore wind farm which has been out of action for more than three weeks could be expanded.

The Rampion project, off the Sussex Coast, has been dormant since 26 October due to a fault in an electrical distribution system.

A spokesperson for Rampion confirmed an "area of search" next to the existing site is "potentially suitable".

The wind farm, situated between Brighton and Worthing, could be extended as far west as Bognor Regis.

In August the Crown Estate - which owns the seabed - invited existing wind farms to express interest in expanding.

Image copyright Rampion Offshore Wind
Image caption The turbines are 140m high and each blade is 55m long

Work is continuing on trying to fix the existing wind farm after a fault on the offshore electrical substation which has halted supply to the national grid.

A Rampion spokesperson said: "We're at an early stage of exploring the potential for development through environmental and engineering work and intend to engage with stakeholders more on this next year.

"Any potential extension would be subject to the same rigorous planning and consultation processes as previously undertaken, during which time we would work closely with both the community and local stakeholders before any proposal is submitted for consent."

Power for about 350,000 homes is generated from the farm's 116 turbines, which became operational in November 2018.

The spokesperson for the National Grid said the outage would have "no impact on energy supply" in the area.

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