The London Array offshore wind farm has set a mammoth new offshore wind record for the amount of electricity generated in a month.
Currently the world’s largest offshore wind farm (though only for a little while longer), the 630 MW London Array set a new calendar-month record for the amount of clean electricity generated by an offshore wind farm in December. According to DONG Energy, one of the four consortium owners, the London Array generated 369,000 MWh of electricity in December, smashing the previous record of 317,000 MWh set in November.
Together, the two successive months of huge output brought the London Array’s yearly net output to some 2,500,000 MWh, the equivalent of providing 600,000 UK households with electricity.
“Both the monthly and annual figures are excellent results for London Array and show the contribution we are making to the country’s energy supply as well as the UK’s renewable energy targets,” said Jonathan Duffy, General Manager of London Array. Going on:
“Above average winds this winter have helped push production higher but that is only part of the story: we have a great team of people who support the operation and maintenance of the wind farm.
“We have pushed very hard over the past year to build on our earlier successes and develop our approach to turbine maintenance and repair. Together with key contractors DONG Energy and Siemens we have focused on operational efficiency and expanding the amount of time our technicians are able to work offshore. This has helped ensure we extracted the maximum power from the wind and kept turbine availability above 98 per cent over the winter.
“Our performance is also good news for the environment as it will have prevented the release of some 1,075,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2015, the main gas linked to climate change.”
The London Array will not be the world’s largest offshore wind farm for long, however, with several new contenders ready to usurp its title. Late 2015 saw DONG Energy announce that it would consent to build the 660 MW Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm, which upon completion would become the world’s largest offshore wind farm (though only by 30 MW).