EDF buys into Navitus Bay UK Round 3 offshore wind project

French-owned utility EDF and Dutch power company Eneco have formed a 50/50 joint venture to develop the Navitus Bay UK Round 3 offshore wind project.

The Navitus Bay project – formerly known as the Isle of Wight zone – is set to deliver between 900MW and 1.2GW of capacity in the northern part of the development area, from a site that covers 76 square miles off the island's coast in southern England.

Eneco was previously the sole developer of the project. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

The two companies say they will now work together to carry out a programme of onshore and offshore consultation with the local community.

They plan to submit a Development Consent Order to the UK's Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) at the end of 2013.

Eneco Wind UK director Guy Madgwick says EDF "bring strong credentials in developing nationally significant infrastructure projects of this nature and importantly share our view that investment in renewable energy projects, such as Navitus Bay, is vital to securing an affordable and sustainable future UK energy supply.”

Huub den Rooijen, head of offshore wind at The Crown Estate, says: "The arrival of one of Europe’s biggest utility companies into the Round 3 programme provides another boost for the offshore wind industry, bringing new expertise and skills into the UK market to help drive forward the world’s largest offshore wind programme.”

EDF’s entry into Navitus Bay is the latest in a flurry of activity involving Round 3 zones, including Dong’s buying into the Hornsea and Irish Sea zones.

EDF is stepping up its offshore wind activity, having recently won three of the four zones awarded in the French offshore tender.

It is also constructing the 62MW Teeside offshore wind farm, and took part in the 325MW C-Power project off the coast of Belgium.