Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Biggest Wind Farm in the World Opens in England

Biggest Wind Farm in the World Opens in England

Saturday, 8 September, 2018 - 06:45
Wind turbines. Reuters photo.
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
The world’s largest offshore wind farm has opened on Thursday off the northwest coast of England where Danish energy group Orsted unveiled the Walney Extension project.

The wind farm has a capacity of 659 megawatts, enough to power almost 600,000 homes, and overtakes the London Array of England’s east coast which has a capacity of 630 megawatts.

The Walney Extension is made up of 87 turbines built by Siemens Gamesa and MHI Vestas, and covers 145 square kilometers, which is equivalent to around 20,000 football pitches.

The 40 eight-megawatt MHI Vestas turbines being used stand 195 meters tall and are the largest wind turbines in operation globally. According to Reuters, Orsted said they have been optimized to generate as much as 8.25 megawatts each.

During an interview with Reuters, Matthew Wright, Orsted UK managing director said that Britain’s offshore success was due to a combination of strong wind speeds and shallow waters in the North Sea and the Irish Sea as well as continued support from the government.

Britain is the world’s largest offshore wind market, hosting 36% of globally installed offshore wind capacity, data from the Global Wind Energy Council showed.

Walney Extension was among the first renewable projects to secure a so-called contract for difference subsidy from the British government in 2014. The contract guarantees it a minimum price for electricity of 150 pounds ($195) per megawatt hour for 15 years.

Editor Picks