08 Sep 2008 05:09:36
Hybrid energy plant to be world's 'most efficient'
An offshore power generation project which will use both wind and gas has received planning permission.
Eclipse Energy's Ormonde project off the east coast of the UK was granted permission by energy minister John Hutton to generate 150MW of energy.
An original application to generate 108MW had been approved in February 2007.
The new plan involves installing 30 of the 165-metre high 5MW turbines used at the Beatrice demonstration project.
And, during periods of low wind, three 30MW gas turbines mounted on a platform using gas from nearby underwater fields, will provide back-up energy supplies.
Ian Hatton, chief executive of Eclipse Energy, said: "In terms of generation capacity and project footprint, Ormonde will be the most efficient wind development on the planet and will in itself represent a major milestone in the development of world offshore wind resources."
When the company was given the original approval then energy minister Lord Truscott expressed his enthusiasm for the steady supply that co-generation would enable.
He said: "The Ormonde scheme is unusual in that it will combine wind and gas power to produce continuous electricity for the region. It is an exciting and innovative technological first that will make a contribution to our renewable energy aims."