Wind farm work to start soon

WORK on the world's largest off-shore wind farm is expected to start in the next four weeks.Construction of the 140 turbines at Greater Gabbard, off the Suffolk coast, was initially planned to begin next year, with completion due in 2010, but the companies behind the £950m project are hopeful work will start next month.

WORK on the world's largest off-shore wind farm is expected to start in the next four weeks.

Construction of the 140 turbines at Greater Gabbard, off the Suffolk coast, was initially planned to begin next year, with completion due in 2010, but the companies behind the £950m project are hopeful work will start next month.

The scheme will provide enough power to supply electricity to more than 415,000 homes and will cut carbon emissions by 1.5m tonnes a year - the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road.

The project is a joint venture between Airtricity and US firm Fluor with sub-contracts, which could benefit local companies, expected to be announced soon.

The windfarm will produce 500mw of electricity and its connection to the National Grid will be achieved via a substation at Sizewell.

The turbines will rise to about 170m above sea level and will be barely visible from the shore.

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It will be located approximately 25km off the coast, in the outer Thames Estuary, close to two shallow sandbanks - the Inner Gabbard and the Galloper.