German utility E.ON and its partners have commissioned the first turbine at the 400MW Rampion offshore wind farm in the English Channel in UK.

Operated by E.ON, the Rampion offshore wind project is being developed in the English Channel, 13km off the coast of Sussex in south-east England.

The firm said that the 115 additional turbines are planned to be connected to the grid in stages over the next few months.

The project partners started offshore work in autumn 2015 with the preparation of the seabed for the turbine foundations.

Designed to generate electricity required to power up to 290,000 homes, the wind farm is jointly owned by E.ON with 50.1% stake, UK Green Investment Bank with 25% interest and Enbridge with 24.9% stake.

The wind farm features 116 Vestas V112-3.45MW wind turbines, each with a hub height of 84m and a height of 140m to blade tip.

E.ON is responsible for the construction, operations and maintenance services of the project and will also provide energy management services.

Rampion project director Matthew Swanwick said: “Over the coming weeks and months the turbines will one-by-one begin to be turned on and generate power as they are brought online. This process will take us into 2018 to complete.”

The project is expected to be fully operational in 2018. Upon completion, the wind farm is expected to provide enough electricity to supply almost 347,000 homes a year, equivalent to around half the homes in Sussex. 

Image: The first turbine of 400MW Rampion offshore wind farm in the UK is connected to grid. Photo: courtesy of E.ON SE.