Norfolk

Norfolk wind farm still subject of Centrica negotiations

A giant wind farm off the Norfolk coast could go ahead next year once talks with government and investors over the price for its energy are completed.

The Race Bank project is designed to power 450,000 homes but talks are still continuing over government subsidies.

Energy giant Centrica said it hoped consultations would be completed soon so work could start in 2014.

A spokesperson said: "We continue to believe Race Bank is one of the best consented offshore projects in the UK."

The wind farm is to be sited about 16.8 miles (27km) off Blakeney Point on the North Norfolk coast.

Centrica said it saw the wind farm playing a key role in the government's plans for growth in renewable energy.

Attract investors

The firm was consulting with government over the "strike price contract", set by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and was also hoping to attract more investment partners.

"We are continuing to meet with potential investors and hope to be in a position to make a final investment decision once we have further clarity (on the energy price level) from government," the spokesperson said.

A government spokesperson said the guide price applicable to renewable power generation had been set in July.

Based on this price if Centrica produces energy that creates a surplus this would be paid back to government.

But if there was a shortfall then the government will make up the difference, Centrica said.

Planning approval has already been given for the construction of the wind farm of up to 580 megawatt capacity but the project remains subject to a final investment decision by Centrica during 2014.

The wind farm would be connected, via buried subsea and onshore cables, to the National Grid network at the Walpole substation in West Norfolk.

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