World’s largest offshore wind farm produces first power
The 630MW scheme, located in the Thames Estuary, will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The development has been under construction since March 2011 and 151 of the 175 turbines have now been installed, with construction on schedule to be finished by the end of the year.
The 175 turbines will produce enough power to supply over 470,000 UK homes with electricity.
Benj Sykes, Wind UK Country Manager at DONG Energy, said: "With its 630 MW the London Array project will be the first of the next generation of larger offshore wind farms and we are pleased to have reached first power. Being able to efficiently develop large offshore wind farms and harvest the scale advantages in both construction and operation is an important element in our continuous efforts to bring down costs of energy of offshore wind."
Dr. Tony Cocker, CEO of E.ON UK, said: “This is not only a very important milestone for the London Array development but also a major landmark for the global renewables sector. We firmly believe that electricity from renewable sources has a vital part to play in helping us to deliver energy in a way that is sustainable, affordable and secure and this is why we are aiming to reduce the costs of offshore wind by 40% by 2015.”
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, said: "The London Array offshore wind project is a landmark achievement for Masdar, its partners and the United Kingdom. We are proud to be making a significant contribution to the UK’s renewable energy portfolio and targets. The London Array development is an example of the true potential and commercial viability of renewable energy. It is also a model of the collaboration and action required to implement large-scale clean energy projects in an effort to sustainable meet our growing energy demands.”
London Array is being built around 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex. The wind farm will be installed on a 245km2 site and will be built in two phases. Phase One will cover 90km2 and include 175 turbines with a combined capacity of 630MW. The consortium plans to complete the first phase by the end of 2012. If approved, the second phase will add enough capacity to bring the total to 870MW.
The project consortium partners have the following shareholdings: DONG Energy owns 50%, E.ON has 30% and Masdar has a 20% stake.