World’s largest offshore windfarm opens off UK coast

The largest offshore windfarm on the planet is now connected to the UK national grid and producing electricity.

Located 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex, the London Array is made up of 175 turbines and generates 630MW, enough to power nearly half a million homes a year.

The first phase was funded by DONG Energy, E.ON and Abu Dhabi based Masdar.

Shell pulled out of the project in 2008 citing rising costs, which are estimated to be in the region of £1.8 billion.

A possible second phase could add enough capacity to bring the total to 870MW.

Dong Energy own a 50% share, E.ON 30% and Masdar 20% (Pic: London Array)

Benj Sykes, Country Manager for DONG Energy’s UK Wind business, says the company will use their experience building the Array to drive down the costs of future projects.

“As we now look to our pipeline of future projects, DONG Energy is determined to drive down the costs of our offshore wind farms to 100 per megawatt hour for projects we’ll be sanctioning in 2020,” he said.

“What we have learnt at London Array, together with our continuing focus on innovation in technologies and techniques, will help us achieve that.”

Masdar Chief Executive Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber also welcomed the news, hailing the project as one of the world’s “most sophisticated and large-scale renewable energy projects”.

According to the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, the UK has the largest offshore wind installed capacity in the world, and the highest number of planned projects up to 2020.

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