LONDON (Reuters) - Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) (SSE.L) said on Thursday the Netherlands had given it the green light to build a wind farm in the North Sea. SSE said the Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works & Water Management had approved an application by its renewable energy division Airtricity to build a farm known as West-Rijn, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) off the Dutch coast and about 90 kilometres (56 miles) from Rotterdam.
SSE said West Rijn was the first offshore farm to receive approval in the Netherlands for nearly seven years.
It will have up to 72 Wind Turbines capable of generating a total of about 260 megawatts of electricity.
The group said it now planned to focus on the final stage of the development process and securing financial help from the Dutch government.
Airtricity's Chief Executive Paul Dowling said the Dutch market was an important new area for SSE's renewable development team. "West Rijn is the first in a number of projects which will give us the opportunity to become the leading offshore wind developer in the Netherlands," he said in a statement.
The Dutch transport and public works ministry said the farm was an important step towards the government's target of setting up farms able to generate 450 megawatts of Wind Energy in the North Sea during its term. For 2020, the government is targeting 6,000 megawatts of North Sea wind energy.
The 20-year permit for the farm still needs to be confirmed following a public enquiry and the ministry said it expected to award more permits in the coming months.£¨www.iii.co.uk £©Offshore wind power