A wind farm with enough capacity to provide for the electricity needs of up to 320,000 households – and reportedly the largest operating facility of its kind in the world to date – has been officially opened.
The Walney wind farm, a joint venture between DONG Energy, Scottish and Southern Energy and OPW was officially opened on Friday by Edward Davey, the UK’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
”Britain has a lot to be proud of in our growing offshore wind sector. Our island’s tremendous natural resource, our research base and a proud history of engineering make this the number one destination for investment in offshore wind,” said Mr. Davey.
Consisting of 102 Siemens wind turbines with a total capacity of 367MW, Walney 1 and Walney 2 offshore wind farms are located approximately 15km off Walney Island, Cumbria, in the Irish Sea. The farm is in water depths of up to 23m and covers an area of around 73 km2.
The turbines generate electricity at 33kV, which is routed to offshore substations that step up the voltage to 132kV for the local grid. The Walney 1 offshore substation is connected to the national grid by a 44km long cable at the substation in Heysham and Walney 2 offshore substation is connected at Cleveleys near Blackpool via a 43km long buried cable.
The first power from the Walney 1 Offshore Wind Farm was generated on Thursday 13 January 2011 and installation of Walney 2 began in March last year.
According to Anders Eldrup, CEO of DONG Energy, the company has 1GW of offshore wind generation in place or under construction in the UK and an investment program totalling around £3 billion in offshore wind alone.
“DONG Energy is delighted to have developed this record-breaking wind farm. Not only is it the world’s biggest wind farm but it has been built in the fastest time ever and it marked a new era in terms of financing being the first project in the UK backed by institutional investors.” Continue reading more…