A few days before Danish wind energy giant DONG Energy announced that it had finally divested itself of all onshore wind energy projects, the company announced that it would push forward with the Burbo Bank Extension wind project.
The Extension will add a further 258 MW to the existing 90 MW Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm, located on the Burbo Flats in Liverpool Bay at the entrance to the River Mersey in the UK.
Vestas Wind will provide 32 of its V164-8.0MW wind turbines to the project, according to an announcement made way back in August — an agreement that simply required DONG Energy to commit to the Extension project.
“Larger and more cost-efficient wind turbines are key elements in the realization of Dong Energy’s strategy towards reducing the cost of electricity from offshore wind,” said Samuel Leupold, an executive vice president at Dong, via Bloomberg. “Competition among the offshore wind turbine manufacturers will increase.”
In fact, DONG Energy is making good on its desire to focus on offshore projects. Earlier in the month, it was announced that the UK government had granted approval for the development of the Hornsea Project One, a 1.2 GW offshore wind farm site located in the North Sea, of which DONG Energy is involved.
The Burbo Bank Extension is set to be commissioned some time in 2017, and is the first of three projects for which DONG Energy was awarded Final Investment Decision Enabling contracts by the UK government in April of 2014. Such a contract will provide DONG Energy with a fixed price per MWh of electricity produced for the first 15 years of operation.
“I am very pleased that with this final investment decision we can now begin the construction of Burbo Bank Extension which will supply green power to approximately 180,000 UK households,” Samuel Leupold said. “The construction and operation of this wind farm will support green growth and employment in the UK.”
“The decision to construct Burbo Bank Extension using an 8MW wind turbine is another significant step towards reducing cost of electricity on future projects.”
On top of the Burbo Bank Extension and the Hornsea Project One, DONG Energy is involved in a number of other projects currently in development.
In November, the UK government approved the 660 MW Walney Offshore Wind Farm Extension being developed by DONG Energy and the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change. The West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm produced electricity for the first time in January this year, while work is still progressing on the Borkum Riffgrund 1 offshore wind farm, Westermost Rough wind farm, and Gode Wind 1 and 2 wind farms.