It is certainly a historic moment for one wind turbine project in the UK…
The Guardian newspaper reports that the first power has been generated from the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The first phase of the London Array project will see 175 turbines generating enough power to supply more than 470,000 homes.
The project is located about 12 miles off the coasts of Kent and Essex in the Thames Estuary. The Guardian reports that 151 turbines have already been installed since construction began in March 2011. And when the first phase is completed by the end of the year, the 630-megawatt scheme will reportedly be the largest offshore wind farm in the world.
If approved, the second phase will add enough turbines to bring the total capacity of the windfarm to 870MW. The companies behind the scheme have reportedly resubmitted their plans with a reduction in the area the wind turbines would cover. The Guardian reports that this comes following concerns that the scheme would hit the red-throated diver population in the estuary.
The UK newspaper reports that Dong Energy has a 50% stake in the project, energy giant E.ON owns 30% and Abu Dhabi renewables company Masdar has a 20% stake.
Benj Sykes, wind UK country manager at Dong Energy, told the Guardian: “Being able to efficiently develop large offshore windfarms and harvest the scale advantages in both construction and operation is an important element in our continuous efforts to bring down the costs of energy of offshore wind.”
Tony Cocker, chief executive of E.ON UK, described the first generation of power as an important milestone not only for London Array but for the global renewables sector.
He told the newspaper: “We firmly believe that electricity from renewable sources has a vital part to play in helping us 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.”
Power for 470,000 homes is not chicken feed. We need something like that on Lake Mead to help power Las Vegas. The world thinks we’re fine on power because of Boulder Dam. We have the power, what we don’t have is the money for it.
Great article, thanks!