Published on November 7th, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill7
Massive 660 MW Walney Offshore Wind Farm Extension Approved
November 7th, 2014 by Joshua S Hill
The UK Government has just approved the Walney Extension offshore wind farm, an extension of the existing 367 MW Walney Offshore Wind Farm, which could add another 660 MW — and up to 750 MW — making it one of the largest offshore wind farms, and perhaps tripling its capacity.
“Another large wind farm is now closer to being built – and each one gives us more home-grown, clean and secure energy supplies,” said Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey.
“This Government has worked tirelessly to rebalance the economy and create more green jobs. This project alone is expected to create 230 new jobs during the construction phase and many more opportunities throughout the UK economy,” adding that “driving investment in energy has made us the top country in the world for investing in offshore wind.”
On top of the 230 construction jobs the Walney Extension will create, the DECC also noted that the project would create “around 185 jobs annually during the expected 25 year lifespan” of the project.
“Walney Extension is expected to have generation capacity of up to 660 megawatts, with the potential to power up to half a million homes, and this decision to grant development consent now clears the way for the company to make a final investment decision on the project,” said Benj Sykes, DONG Energy’s Vice President of UK Wind Power.
Though DONG Energy is only committing to 660 MW, the permit from the UK DECC is up to 750 MW with up to 207 turbines. Set to be constructed northwest of the Walney I and II offshore wind farms, the Extension will be 19 kilometers west of the Cumbrian coast, and is expected to see construction between 2016 and 2019.
According to a report from earlier this year, DONG Energy was expecting to have to wait “18 months to two years” for the planning decision to be completed, and until 2018 for construction to begin. However, DONG Energy is now left only to make a final investment decision before it can move forward — a good two years earlier than it had originally predicted.