Pretty amazing,100 turbines will power 240,000 homes. -------------------------------------------------------- Two big offshore wind farms get OK Reuters Monday December 18, 01:37 PM LONDON (Reuters) - The government has approved two huge offshore windfarms planned near London as part of its drive to cut carbon emissions, but the bigger project still has to clear an onshore planning hurdle. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the environment ministry on Monday gave the go-ahead to the 1,000 megawatt London Array and 300-MW Thanet schemes to build two of the world's largest offshore windfarms. "Once built, they will mark a significant stride towards our renewables target," Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Alistair Darling said in a statement. "Achieving rapid growth in offshore renewables is essential if we are to reduce carbon emissions and improve the security of our energy supplies." However, local government refusal of planning permission for an onshore substation to connect the Array project to the power network remains a big obstacle for its Royal Dutch Shell-led consortium of backers. "The onshore side of things is at a public enquiry stage," a spokeswoman for Shell said. Shell appealed in September against Swale Borough Council's June planning rejection. But it cannot proceed with Array until the issue is resolved. "It is imperative that large scale wind farms such as London Array get the go-ahead and are built in the not too distant future," Andrew Murfin, a director of London Array Limited, said. Monday's DTI and environment ministry approvals mean Warwick Energy's Thanet plan faces no such problems. "That's everything we need," the company's director, Mark Petterson, told Reuters. Warwick hopes to open its 100-turbine farm, which should produce enough power for 240,000 homes, in 2008. Shell's partners in the Array project to build 341 turbines off the Kent and Essex coast are the UK arm of German utility E.ON and anglo-Danish wind power developer Core.