RWE, Stadtwerke Munchen, Siemens to build wind farm off Welsh coast

Energy suppliers will build 160 wind turbines which could power 400K houses.

RWE Innogy, Stadtwerke Munchen and Siemens have entered into a joint venture to build the Gwynt y Mor offshore wind farm with an installed capacity of 576MW in Liverpool Bay, around 18km off the North Wales coast.

RWE will hold a 60% stake in the venture, while Stadtwerke Munchen and Siemens will hold 30% and 10% respectively. The total investment amounts to more than €2bn, including the grid connection to the coast.

Work will start towards the end of 2011 to erect the first foundations for a total of 160 wind turbines. All permits for the wind farm covering an area of 79sqkm have already been obtained. Siemens will supply, install and maintain the wind turbines, and provide the connection to the grid.

In its first phase of expansion, the wind farm is planned to generate electricity by 2013. The project is expected to be completed in 2014. From then onwards it is forecast to generate around 1,950GWh of electricity annually, enough to supply around 400,000 British households.

Chris Huhne, secretary of state for energy and climate change, UK, said: "This is the first, of what I hope will be many, examples of how we can make the most of our island's huge renewable energy potential.

"I want to make sure we grab all the opportunities the rapidly expanding renewables industry has to offer, and that wind power can come of age under this government."