World's biggest offshore wind farm starts work
Masdar project will eventually have capacity of 630MW
The London Array Offshore Wind Farm, currently under construction by Masdar, E.ON and DONG Energy, has produced its first power. The development has been under construction since March of last year, and 151 turbines at the site have now been installed.
When complete, the project will have a capacity of 630MW, enough power to supply 470,000 homes in the UK. Construction is scheduled to end by the close of this year.
“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 sustainably meet our growing energy demands,’ said Masdar CEO Dr Sultan Al Jaber.
The project is being built 20km off the coast of Kent and Essex, off the south-east of England. Turbines are being installed across a 245km2 site, and is being built in two phases. The second phase, which will begin after the first 175 turbines are installed, will boost output to 870MW.
Masdar has a 20% stake in the project, with DONG Energy holding a 50% share and E.ON holding the remaining 30% stake.
“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,” said E.ON CEO Dr Tony Cocker.
Local Member of Parliament for Thanet South, Laura Sandys, said: “Locally we are extremely pleased that London Array is now producing energy for homes across the South East. We are very proud that London Array is based in Thanet and that we are host to the largest offshore wind farm in the world. To have a world class wind farm maintained from Ramsgate is great for the local community and local business. We very much hope that the company will be able to realise its plans to develop Phase Two adding an additional 240MW.”