Commissioning Of Final Turbine Completes World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

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The 175th and final wind turbine was installed at the London Array offshore wind farm in December of 2012, but was finally commissioned this week, which not only finalises the end of major construction activities but also confirms the London Array’s position as world’s largest offshore wind farm.

The installation of the 175 wind turbines started back in January of 2012, and has been completed by MPI Discovery, A2SEA’s Sea Worker and Sea Jack.

A view from the last turbine on London Array
A view from the last turbine.
Image Credit: London Array

“This is the final major milestone of the construction phase and the culmination of more than two years’ offshore construction work which began in March 2011 with the installation of the first foundation,” said Project Director Richard Rigg.

“It has been a complex operation but I am delighted that the commissioning of the wind farm has now been completed on schedule, despite the worst of the winter weather.”

“Having the final turbine installed is another landmark in this flagship project for the UK and for DONG Energy,” said Benj Sykes, Country Manager for 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.”

In fact, the London Array is already exporting power to the UK grid, according to Siemens AG, from the farm which now has a total capacity of 630 megawatts, covering the annual power consumption of 480,000 British households.

The London Array was built 20 kilometres off the coasts of Kent and Essex on a site 245 square kilometres.

“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 euros per megawatt-hour for projects we’ll be sanctioning in 2020,” Sykes said. “Building London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, is a great achievement.”

Tony Cocker, Chief Executive Officer of E.ON UK, commented: “London Array is a significant achievement in renewable energy. The world’s largest operational offshore wind farm will be capable of generating enough energy to power nearly half a million homes and reduce harmful CO2 emissions by over 900,000 tonnes a year.

“It’s been a tough time for the team working on site. The recent bad weather and north easterly winds have whipped up the waves preventing access to the site so this milestone is true reward for their hard work.”

“Just over two years ago, we celebrated the first of 177 foundation installations in this massive undertaking,” said Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, another partner in the London Array. “Today, after overcoming challenges on both land and at sea, we celebrate the commissioning of the final turbine.

“As a partner in some of the world’s most sophisticated and large-scale renewable energy projects, Masdar recognises the value of robust collaborative efforts as exemplified by the London Array. Masdar is proud to be contributing to the United Kingdom’s clean energy mix and remains committed to growing offshore wind capacity in the UK and worldwide.”

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Joshua S Hill

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2 thoughts on “Commissioning Of Final Turbine Completes World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

  • “..on a site 245 kilometres squared.” Surely it’s 245 square kilometers, corresponding to a square 15.6 km on a side. The project website gives 100 square km, or 10 km on a side. It’s important not to exaggerate the land (or seabed) take of these things.

    • It’s hard to look at all 245 km2 as a “take”. Probably 2%, at most, of that 245 is actually “taken”. The other 98% has been converted in to a sea life safe zone where fishy creatures will have a chance to breed and grow free from bottom-scraping nets.

      We’ve seen in heavily fished island areas that setting aside a moderately tiny amount of the ocean as a no-fish zone can greatly increase the productivity of the overall fishery.

      Add in all those towers that will serve as artificial reefs, giving critters places to attach themselves and provide food for others and it’s not a “take”. It’s a “give”.

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