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A Madrid-based wind company has submitted plans to build the largest wind farm in the world off the coast of Scotland. The proposed development would create thousands of U.K. wind jobs, and set Scotland on the way to its goal of deriving 100% of its energy needs from renewable resources by 2020.
The plans were submitted by EDP Renovaveis (EDPR), part of an international wind power company that has a presence in North America as EDP Renewables North America. In the U.S., they’re also known as Horizon Wind Energy, and employ over 300 people in permanent wind jobs. Headquarters are in Spain.
In January 2010, the U.K. approved 32,200 megawatts of wind farms for development licenses. EDPR’s proposal is the first to actually request planning permission.
The U.K. already boasts the largest completed offshore wind farm in the world, the Walney plant, off the northwest shore of England. It generates about 367 megawatts of energy. Another project, the London Array, is currently under construction. The first part will generate 630 megawatts, and a 370-megawatt addition has been approved.
EDPR’s newest proposed wind farm would dwarf them both. Generating 1,500 megawatts, it would cover 114 square miles offshore. That’s bigger than the entire city of Edinburgh. The project also promises to bring plenty of wind jobs to the region. “Offshore wind can provide tens of thousands of jobs across the country,” said Maria McCaffery, CEO of RenewableUK. This massive wind farm has the potential to power about one million homes.
If it gets the green light, the EDPR project will not only create wind jobs, it will also help Scotland and the U.K. meet goals to reduce carbon emissions, and put the European Union a little closer to its goal of obtaining 15% of its energy from clean sources by 2020.
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