RWE npower renewables, the UK subsidiary of RWE Innogy, and SSE have received approval from The Crown Estate, to develop a new offshore wind farm off the coast of Suffolk.

The proposed wind farm will be called Galloper Wind Farm, reflecting its proximity to the Galloper Sandbank. The contract for expanding existing offshore development areas was put out to tender by The Crown Estate in the summer of last year.

The area to be developed by the project partners is situated in two arrays approximately 30km from the Suffolk coast, off south-east England, in the vicinity of the outer Gabbard sandbank and to the east of the Galloper sandbank.

This is adjacent to the site where RWE npower renewables and SSE are currently constructing the Gabbard offshore wind farm, a 500MW project which is expected to come online in 2012.

The Galloper Wind Farm is expected to have an installed capacity of approximately 500MW, with turbines being constructed in water depths of 30mt to 40mt.

The new offshore project will go through the application process of the Infrastructure Planning Commission, an independent body set up towards to decide applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects.

Paul Coffey, chief operating officer of RWE Innogy, said: “The opportunity to develop a wind farm close to the Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm site has a number of advantages: we know that it is an excellent site for a wind farm, there is already the necessary infrastructure in place and, if consented, one can benefit from the long-term operational and maintenance activities due to the close proximity of the two wind farms.”

The application documents are planned to be submitted this year with the decision expected in 2012. A grid connection was secured with National Grid last year.