Off the Cumbrian coast, the world’s largest offshore windfarm has just been opened and has been designed to provide over 600,000 homes with power using a whopping 87 turbines which are the largest turbines available globally. The installation generates around 695MW and covers an area equal to 20,000 football pitches.
It is becoming clearer that to meet UK targets for the coming years, large-scale projects like this one will be necessary as both the demand for electricity is rising and so is the demand for that increase to be fed from clean sources.
In 2017 the highest percentage in history of electricity was produced by wind, and with prices for renewables falling, it is thought that more than half of our power will come from renewables by 2050.
This project has taken 3 year to complete and become operational. It is now the largest windfarm in the world and its turbines some of the tallest – more than 600 feet in the air. Higher is definitely better when It comes to wind speed!
Matthew Wright works for Orsted the Danish company that completed the construction – he told sky news:
“The UK is the global leader in offshore wind and Walney Extension showcases the industry’s incredible success story.”
And it seems this won’t be the only project of its kind, with Orsted planning constructions in Norway and the Netherlands, and even larger projects in the pipeline in Hornsea and the Yorkshire coast. So, whilst Walney Extension may not be the biggest for long, it was the first of its scale and is an important step in the UK becoming greener.
This is proof that wind power has become bigger and better and how far the technology has come in just a few years when compared to the last wind farm project in London in the Thames estuary. Europe is the leader in offshore wind with more than 4,000 offshore wind turbines around various countries. In 2017 the UK was responsible for 1.7gigawatts of power from offshore wind.
Energy minister Claire Perry said:
“Record-breaking engineering landmarks like this help us consolidate our global leadership position, break records for generating renewable energy, and create thousands of high-quality jobs.”