The green light has been given for full construction to begin on the 400 MW capacity, 116 turbine Rampion Offshore Wind Farm.
The wind farm will be situated 13km off the Sussex coast, between East Worthing and Brighton.
The Rampion project is set to become the first offshore wind farm off the south coast of England.
The Crown Estate, manager of the UK seabed, welcomed the news that E.ON has confirmed that it will invest in and build the £1.3billion development. alongside its partner in the project, the UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB)
When complete the wind farm could provide enough electricity to supply the equivalent of around 300,000 homes and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 600,000 tonnes a year.
Construction of the onshore substation in Twineham is planned to start this month, closely followed by preparation works for the onshore cable route. Offshore construction will commence in early 2016 with planned completion in 2018.
- Navitus Bay wind farm: supporters and opposition speak out
- Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm gets the go ahead
- Proposed Navitus Bay wind farm could contravene ‘World Heritage’ status
- Offshore wind to meet 10% of UK electricity demand by 2020
E.ON UK chief executive, Tony Cocker, said: ‘This is an important milestone for what is a strategically important project for the UK.
‘At around £1.3bn this investment by E.ON and our partners at the Green Investment Bank could be one of the biggest capital projects confirmed in Britain this year and we are proud of the leading role we are continuing to take in helping to transform the UK’s energy infrastructure.’
Huub den Rooijen, head of offshore wind for the Crown Estate, added: ‘The announcement of the £1.3billion investment from E.ON and the Green Investment Bank in the Rampion offshore wind farm represents a major milestone as it becomes the first project to enter construction under our Round 3 leasing programme.
‘We look forward to continuing to work with the industry to bring forward these large scale wind projects which will help further bring down costs and support the UK’s low carbon energy mix over the long term.’