DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar have officially opened the world’s largest offshore wind farm, London Array. The 630MW offshore wind farm located in the Outer Thames Estuary, first started generating power in October 2012. The 175th turbine was bought online in March 2013 and London Array is now celebrating the completion and full operation of the site, which could supply around 500,000 UK homes with electricity each year.
Construction began in July 2009 when work started to build a new onshore substation on the northKentcoast to flow the energy generated by London Array straight into the national grid. Offshore the first foundation was installed in March 2011; the 175th and final Siemens 3.6MW turbine was installed on time in December 2012. Over 75 organisations have helped to build London Array with over 6,700 individuals involved.
Brent Cheshire, UK Country Chairman of DONG Energy, comments: “With the addition of London Array, DONG Energy has now installed enough offshore wind in the UK to power 1 million homes. This project is also a real milestone on the path to cutting the cost of offshore wind. As projects get even bigger and move further offshore, we must continue to harvest the advantages of scale to bring down the costs.”
Tony Cocker, Chief Executive Officer of E.ON UK, says: “London Array is a major landmark for global renewable investment. We firmly believe that electricity from renewable sources has a vital part to play in helping us deliver energy in a way that is sustainable, affordable and secure. That’s why, as we learn and improve from each wind farm that we build, we’re aiming to reduce the cost of offshore wind by 40% by 2015.”
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, adds: “This inauguration is a historic milestone for the United Kingdom and the development of renewable energy. Projects like London Array demonstrate the economic opportunity of large-scale renewable energy projects – from the direct investment they attract to the industries they strengthen. London Array also exemplifies what can be achieved through smart policies and strong partnerships.”
London Array is located around 20 km off the coasts of Kent and Essex on a 100 sq km site. The project consortium partners have the following shareholdings: DONG Energy owns 50%, E.ON has 30% and Masdar has a 20% stake.