The world’s largest offshore wind farm – the 659MW Walney Extension project – officially opened on 6 September in the Irish Sea.
Denmark’s Ørsted, formerly known as Danish Oil and Natural Gas, owns 50 per cent of the wind farm, with pension funds PKA and PFA each taking a 25 per cent stake.
Walney Extension’s 87 wind turbines are spread across an area of 145 square kilometres off the coast of Cumbria and will generate enough energy to power some 600,000 households in the UK.
“Record-breaking engineering landmarks like this huge offshore windfarm help us consolidate our global leadership position, break records for generating renewable energy, and create thousands of high quality jobs,” says Claire Perry, the UK’s Energy and Clean Growth Minister.
Wind turbines have become significantly more powerful since the London Array, now the world’s second-largest offshore wind farm, was opened in 2013. The project features 175 turbines and has a capacity of 630MW, which is enough energy to power 470,000 UK homes.
Walney Extension features 47 MHI Vestas 8MW wind turbines and a further 40 Siemens Gamesa 7MW wind turbines. The project will not hold the title of “world’s largest” for long: ScottishPower’s East Anglia One wind farm will boast a 714MW capacity when it opens in 2020.