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World’s largest offshore wind farm starts to generate power in UK

630MW London Array will be the first of next generation large-scale offshore wind farms

The London Array will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world

The world’s largest offshore wind farm had started to generate power in the UK. The 630MW London Array wind farm is under construction in the Thames Estuary, England. When complete it will consist of 175 turbines and will produce enough power to supply over 470,000 UK homes with electricity.

The wind farm, involving companies Dong Energy, E.ON and Masdar, has been under construction since March 2011. 15 of the 175 turbines have now been installed, with construction on schedule to be finished by the end of the year.

Benj Sykes, wind UK country manager at DONG Energy, said: “With its 630MW the London Array project will be the first of the next generation of larger offshore wind farms and we are pleased to have reached first power. Being able to efficiently develop large offshore wind farms and harvest the scale advantages in both construction and operation is an important element in our continuous efforts to bring down costs of energy of offshore wind.”

The London Array is being built around 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex. The wind farm will be installed on a 245km2 site and will be built in two phases. Phase One will cover 90km2 and include 175 turbines with a combined capacity of 630MW. The consortium plans to complete the first phase by the end of 2012. If approved, the second phase will add enough capacity to bring the total to 870MW.

Dr. Tony Cocker, CEO of E.ON UK, said: “This is not only a very important milestone for the London Array development but also a major landmark for the global renewables sector. We firmly believe that electricity from renewable sources has a vital part to play in helping us to 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 per cent by 2015.”

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, added: “The London Array development is an example of the true potential and commercial viability of renewable energy. It is also a model of the collaboration and action required to implement large-scale clean energy projects in an effort to sustainably meet our growing energy demands.”

The news about London Array follows other major UK developments in offshore wind power. This includes the Ormonde Offshore wind farm, off the Cumbria coast, England, which was completed in February following a two-year development process.