The 175th and final turbine was installed on the £2 billion London Array yesterday, marking the end of construction of the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
Work on the first, 630 MW phase of the wind farm being developed by DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar in the Thames Estuary started in January this year and the project is on course to be fully operational early next year.
The first turbine started generating power earlier this autumn in October and there are now 55 turbines connected to the national grid and supplying power.
“Having the final turbine installed is another landmark in this flagship project for the UK and for DONG Energy,” says Benj Sykes, head of DONG Energy’s UK wind business. “The London Array will soon be the largest operational offshore wind farm in the world – building offshore wind farms of this size and larger in the future allows us to harvest the advantages of scale and is an important element of our strategy to drive down the cost of energy.”
His comments were echoed by CEO of E.ON UK, Tony Cocker, and chief executive of Masdar, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, who added:
“London Array is a testament to how collaboration, the right policies and a commitment to sustainability can advance the new energy industry.”
The next phase of the project will, subject to approval, see the construction of further turbines across the 245 km2 site to take the total capacity to 870 MW.
Meanwhile, in further good news for the offshore wind industry, two of the UK’s largest landowners, The Crown Estate and Network Rail, have signed an agreement to allow cables from offshore wind and marine energy projects to connect to the national grid across their lands.
The UK’s 700 offshore wind turbines in operation – and the further 500 currently under construction – all have to be connected to the grid. The nature of Network Rail’s estate means that many of these connections have to or will have to in the future cross its land and train lines.
“[The memorandum of understanding] will see us collaborate closely in the future to enable more rapid delivery offshore wind grid connections,” says Alison Nimmo, chief executive of The Crown Estate.
For further information:
Wind power could be second only to gas in UK by 2020 (31-Oct)
London Array turbines start turning (30-Oct)
SSE and Fluor submit plans for 1 GW offshore wind farms (24-Oct)
Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm takes UK capacity to 2.5 GW (1-Oct)
Article source: http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/5633/