Britain plans huge wind power award

Britain is set to award contracts for a number of large wind farm projects this week after the Masdar-backed London Array got the green light last year.

Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, is expected to award nine offshore contracts totaling £100 billion (Dh593bn) to wind companies to build miles of turbines producing a total of 25,000 megawatts (mw) of electricity, the Times of London reports today.

The offshore lands fall under the Crown Estate so their development is being led by the British government.

The projects will help Britain meet a goal of generating a third of its electricity from wind power within 10 years.

The winners have not been publicly disclosed, but the Times reports that a consortium of RWE Npower, Scottish and Southern Energy, and Statkraft and StatoilHydro, both of Norway, is set to win a contract to develop the largest site, a plot 100km off Britain's east coast with enough space for turbines to produce 10,000mw of electricity.

Britain's offshore wind programme was kick-started last year when Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Government firm, announced that it would join two partners in supporting the London Array, a smaller wind farm located closer to shore that that had been threatened by the financial crisis.

The €2 billion project will produce 630mw when it is completed in 2012.