Centrica sells stake in the giant Norfolk wind farm Race Bank

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm. Picture: Ian Burt

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

British gas owner Centrica has announced its departure from another major energy project today after it sold its stake in a giant wind farm off the Norfolk coast.

The firm has reached an agreement to sell the Race Bank offshore wind farm project to DONG Energy Power (UK) for £50m.

The announcement follows reports last month that Centrica bosses were contemplating pulling out of the £2bn project in a row with the government over subsidies.

It comes after the company shelved plans for the Baird gas storage facility near Bacton in September, and pulled its funding from plans to build a new nuclear power station at Sizewell, near Leiston.

Mark Hanafin, managing director of Centrica Energy, said: 'This transaction marks the next step in the development of the Race Bank wind farm and we are pleased that the project will continue to progress towards a Final Investment Decision.'

Race Bank is situated 27km off the Norfolk Coast and was consented in 2012. Once developed, it could meet the equivalent annual electricity demand of more than 450,000 UK homes, Centrica claims.

The company had taken Race Bank through the planning and front end engineering design phase, with DONG Energy now set to develop the project.

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The firm said it now retains equity interests totalling 290MW in four operational wind farms in the UK.