The London Array, which will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm once completed, has now begun generating electricity. The companies behind the project announced the beginning of electricity production on Monday.
Once completed, the first phase will see around 175 wind turbines installed about 12 miles off the coasts of Kent and Essex in the Thames Estuary, generating enough electricity to power more than 470,000 homes.
Construction started back in March 2011. Since then, 151 wind turbines have been installed, with the remaining few expected to be installed by the end of the year. The first phase of the project will total 630 MW.
“If approved, the second phase will add enough turbines to bring the total capacity of the windfarm to 870MW,” the UK’s Guardian notes. “The plans have had to be resubmitted with a reduction in the area the turbines would cover following concerns the scheme would hit the red-throated diver population in the estuary.”
The energy giant E.ON owns 30% of the project, the Abu Dhabi–based Masdar another 20% stake, and the remaining 50% is owned by Dong Energy.
“We firmly believe that electricity from renewable sources has a vital part to play in helping us 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% by 2015,” said Tony Cocker, chief executive of E.ON UK.
Here’s more on the London Array in video format, from the London Array: