(Reuters) - Britain is targeting a vast expansion of its offshore wind resource to meet renewables targets for 2020. Here is a timeline of offshore energy generation in the UK. 1996 - First applications made under old NFFO renewables support scheme for two offshore wind farms - Gunfleet Sands in Essex and Blyth in Northumberland.
Dec 2000 - Blyth pilot project commissioned, making it the UK’s first offshore wind farm. It has two turbines with output of 4 Megawatts and was developed by a consortium comprising E.ON UK Renewables, Shell Renewables, Nuon UK and AMEC Wind.
Dec 2000 - The Crown Estate, the body which owns most of the UK coastline out to 12 nautical miles, announces the first round of wind farm development.
April 2001 - Crown Estate announces Round 1 awards of 18 sites with up to 30 turbines, giving total capacity of up to 1.5 Gigawatts.
July 2003 - Crown Estate announces tenders for Round 2 and receives bids for 41 projects.
Dec 2003 - First large-scale offshore wind farm, North Hoyle in Wales, commissioned. Owned by RWE nPower it comprises 30 turbines with capacity of 60 MW
Dec 2003 - Round 2 developers announced for 15 projects awarded with total capacity of 7.2 GW.
Sept 2005 - Kentish Flats commissioned. At 90MW it becomes the world’s largest offshore wind farm. It is now owned by Vattenfall.
May 2008 - Crown Estate announces leasing process for wind farm sites in Scottish territorial waters - nine companies awarded agreements for 10 locations
June 2008 - Crown Estate announces proposals for Round 3.
July 2009 - Crown Estate offers extensions to round 1 & 2 licenses to help provide developers with a continuous stream of projects.
Jan 2010 - Round 3 license winners announced for projects to develop up to 32 GW in nine different zones.
June 2010 - New coalition government announces plans for a Green Investment Bank.
Sept 2010 - Britain’s wind farms hit record power output levels, generating 1,860 MW, equivalent to 4.7 percent of total generation.
Sept 2010 - Vattenfall’s Thanet wind farm inaugurated. With 100 turbines and capacity of 300 MW it is the largest offshore wind farm in the world.
For an analysis on the supply chain, please click
Sources: RenewableUK, Crown Estate, Vattenfall
Compiled by Victoria Bryan; Editing by David Cowell