Prime Minister will launch £100bn programme

A £100bn programme to build thousands of offshore wind turbines – known collectively as the UK’s Round 3 offshore developments – is due to be launched by the Prime Minister Gordon Brown this week.

According to a report in the Guardian newspaper, The Crown Estate will announce which consortia have been successful in bidding to develop the nine zones, including two on the South Coast, one off North Wales, one off South Wales and five in the North Sea.

Successful applicants will carry out further scoping work to decide where exactly to build the farms before submitting planning applications. Construction is not expected to start until 2014 at the earliest.

A spokeswoman for the Crown Estate said the government body, which owns the UK’s seabed, was holding a supply chain roadshow for British manufacturers around the country, starting later this month. Working with regional development authorities, companies will be informed what components will be needed by the energy companies to help British industry benefit from the construction programme.

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