UK awards subsidy contracts to eight renewable energy projects

LONDON Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:16am BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - The British government on Wednesday awarded investment contracts under a new subsidy regime to eight renewable energy projects, including five offshore wind farms and three biomass plants.

The projects together are worth 12 billion pounds ($20 billion) and will support 8,500 jobs in Britain's energy sector, adding up to 4.5 gigawatts (GW) in new electricity generation capacity, the government said.

The contracts were awarded on Wednesday under Britain's new contracts-for-difference scheme which gives renewable power generators certainty of a minimum electricity price over 15 years.

The projects include the Dudgeon offshore wind farm, proposed by Norway's Statoil and Statkraft, Dong Energy's Burbo Bank offshore wind farm and the third biomass conversion unit at Drax's coal-fired power plant.

Drax said on Wednesday it had started legal proceedings against the government's decision not to award a CfD contract to the conversion of a third unit to biomass.

(Corrects final paragraph to "a third unit" from "its second unit")

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by Keiron Henderson and Louise Heavens)

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