Swedish power company Vattenfall’s plans to expand its 300MW Thanet offshore wind farm off the coast of Kent in southern England will be examined by the UK Planning Inspectorate (PINS).

Thanet offshore wind farm

Image: Thanet offshore wind farm off the coast of Kent. Photo: courtesy of Vattenfall.

The assessment of the plans to be taken up by PINS precedes a UK Government decision on the approval of the expansion, which is slated to be made in late 2019.

Vattenfall is looking to add up to 34 additional wind turbines to the Thanet offshore wind farm by 2023. The turbines are proposed to be installed in a development area near the existing wind farm, 8km off Foreness Point.

According to the Swedish power company, the newly added wind turbines will add an additional capacity of up to 340MW that would meet the power consumption requirements of nearly 282,000 UK homes.

Vattenfall said that PINS’ decision to accept the proposed project for examination comes after 18 months of its engagement and discussions with Isle of Thanet residents and businesses.

PINS is expected to invite stakeholders to file evidence before its examination of the Thanet offshore wind farm extension plans.

Vattenfall Thanet Extension project manager Helen Jameson said: “We want to build a wind farm that helps Thanet prosper whilst contributing to the fight against climate change and a fossil fuel free future.

“If Thanet Extension joins our Kent cluster of offshore wind farms it will allow Vattenfall to expand our existing workforce of 75 people currently working from our Ramsgate operations and maintenance base.

“We would also expect to see local businesses benefit from our local investment, especially around the Port of Ramsgate.”

The Thanet offshore wind farm has been in operations since 2010 and is made up of 100 Vestas V90 3MW wind turbines.

Currently, the power generated by it covers around 200,000 UK households. For this purpose, two submarine power cables built by Italy-based Prysmian Group starting from an offshore substation within the Thanet offshore wind farm connect to an existing onshore substation in Richborough, Kent.