Successful bids for nine new offshore wind farm zone licences within UK waters have been announced by the government.

A consortium including Npower and Norway’s Statkraft won the licence for the biggest zone, in Dogger Bank, which is expected to produce 9GW of energy.

Turbines in the nine zones could generate up to 32GW of power, a quarter of the UK’s electricity needs.

The winners have signed exclusive agreements with the Crown Estate, which owns the UK seabed.

Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, said it welcomed the news that it has been a successful tendering process, having been awarded exclusive rights to develop the Irish Sea zone.

Centrica will now control the zone located 15km off the coast of Anglesey, Wales, providing Centrica with the potential to develop an additional 4.2GW of renewable energy.

The company said this could provide enough power for more than three million British Gas homes.