Abu Dhabi renewables company Masdar has taken a £525m ($860m) stake in a UK offshore wind farm.

The UAE clean energy group has bought the 35 per cent stake in the 402 MW Dudgeon wind farm from Statoil, which still holds another 35 per cent share with the remaining 30 per cent owned by Statkraft.

The £1.5bn project off the Norfolk coast in eastern England marks the second major investment in the UK offshore wind market by Masdar, as the company already has a 20 per cent stake in the 630 MW London Array, the world’s largest oMasdar London Arrayffshore wind farm.

The deal was announced on the sidelines of the United Nations’ Climate Change Summit in New York this week.

Masdar chairman Dr Sultan Al Jaber said: “As the only OPEC nation supplying both traditional and renewable energy to international markets, the United Arab Emirates is committed to accelerating the use of wind energy as an effective means of balancing the global energy mix as we move toward a sustainable, low carbon future.”

Offshore construction on Dudgeon is due to start in 2016 and the project is expected to be fully operational in late 2017.

Statoil chief executive Helge Lund said that Dudgeon “represents an important part of Statoil’s renewable energy strategy, and it will generate value to the owners, the offshore wind industry and the UK community”.

UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey said that Masdar’s investment “is a strong endorsement of the UK as the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind – and it shows the government’s plan for green growth is working. Since 2010 we have seen, on average, £7 billion a year invested in renewables and we expect to see up to £50 billion more between now and 2020.”

Masdar said that its decision to become a partner in Dudgeon underscores its belief that the UK represents a major market for investment in offshore wind energy.