October  2 2012.

E.ON has today announced that Newhaven port will be the operations and maintenance base for its proposed Rampion Offshore Wind Farm if the development is granted approval. The decision has been made following a rigorous technical assessment of both Newhaven and Shoreham Ports.

The move could create up to 85 full time permanent jobs with the majority being recruited locally. It would also see part of Newhaven Port being modernised and redeveloped through E.ON's investment in the new facility, which would support the operation and maintenance of the proposed offshore wind farm.

Chris Tomlinson, E.ON Development Manager for the project, said: "We're extremely pleased to be able to announce that we'll be partnering with Newhaven Port if the Rampion project gets the go ahead. It's an ideal location to support the wind farm due to its proximity and accessibility to site, and the amount of space available."

Captain François Jean, Port Manager, Newhaven Port & Properties, said: "This is great news for Newhaven Port and we're delighted to be chosen as the home of the Rampion offshore wind farm, if it is given planning approval. This decision will kick start our plans for the regeneration of Newhaven Port and begin a new era for our wider plans to create a hub of clean, green power generation."

Norman Baker MP for Lewes, said: "This is fantastic news for Newhaven, and something I have worked hard to secure. It will not only create close to a hundred jobs but also establish Newhaven as the port of choice for offshore renewable energy development in the future. This is a real boost for the economy of the town. The tide has turned for Newhaven in general and the port in particular."

The operations and maintenance base would contain office space, equipment storage and vessel mooring which would be used by a team dedicated to operating and maintaining the wind farm for the lifetime of the project1. A separate planning application would need to be made to the local planning authority for the O&M site before the development could take place.

The proposed offshore wind farm, which would be located 13km off the Sussex coast at its nearest point, could feature between 100 and 195 turbines depending on the model used. The site could accommodate an installed electrical capacity of up to 700MW, which E.ON estimates could generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of around 450,000 homes2. That's more than two-thirds of the homes in the whole of Sussex3, including the city of Brighton and Hove.

E.ON is currently reviewing feedback from the various consultations held this year and will be finalising proposals for submission before the end of the year. Those who wish to comment on the proposals will be able to register an interest with the Planning Inspectorate who will be assessing the application, at http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk

Anyone interested in finding out more about the proposed offshore wind farm should visit www.eon-uk.com/rampion  e-mail rampion@eon.com or call 01273 694 876.

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