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Masdar Takes 20 Percent Stake In World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm

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Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multibillion-dollar clean technology initiative, has today taken a 20 percent stake in the London Array, the world’s largest planned offshore wind farm. Masdar purchased its stake from German energy titan E.ON, which maintains 30 percent ownership of the project. The other half of the project is financed by Danish utility DONG Energy. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, though the entire London Array project could reportedly cost £2.5 billion ($4.3 billion).

The London Array project has been proposed for a 90-square-mile site 12 miles off the coast of England, near the mouth of the Thames. When fully completed, the project could contain up to 271 turbines and produce a full gigawatt of power, representing 10 percent of the UK’s ambitious renewable energy goals.

The first phase of the project, which will erect 175 turbines, is scheduled to be completed by 2012. But rising costs have plagued the project and forced the previous Big Oil partner, Royal Dutch Shell (s RDS), to pull out earlier this year.

Masdar was founded in 2006 and has moved quickly to invest billions of Abu Dhabi’s petro-dollars into clean technology. Just last month Masdar invested €120 million in Finnish wind turbine manufacturer WinWinD Oy. Today’s agreement between Masdar and E.ON is part of longer term joint venture, through which the two companies plan to collaborate on a variety of cleantech projects, including carbon-credit generating Joint Implementation (JI) and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. Masdar is particularly interested in extending Abu Dhabi’s oil wealth by researching how to “de-carbonize” fossil fuels.

Images courtesy of London Array and Masdar.