UK Building World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm

UK Building World's Largest Offshore Wind FarmUK Building World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm

Danish state-owned company Dong Energy A/S plans to set a world record for the world’s largest offshore wind farm, breaking the record currently held by the 630-megawatt London Array, another facility built by Dong.

The new UK wind farm will be located in the Irish Sea, about 12 miles off the west coast of Great Britain. When commissioned, it will provide enough energy to power almost a half million homes.

It is no surprise that Dong is behind this effort, as it is Denmark’s largest energy company and the world’s largest developer of offshore wind power, Digital Trends reported.

The company has a longstanding relationship with the UK, constructing and, in some cases, operating multiple offshore wind facilities, including those in Barrow, Burbo Bank and Walney Island.

Between these projects and others in Germany, Dong now has a total of 5.1 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity. It aims to expand this capacity even further with a projected goal of 6.5 GW of offshore wind energy production by 2020.

Following its success with the previous Walney projects, Dong was awarded a third contract in 2014 to build the Walney Extension. In this new Walney project, Dong will build upon the existing 367-MW Walney 1 and Walney 2 wind farms, which the company partially owns.

The company will install 40 new 8-MW turbines and 47 additional 7-MW machines. Combined, these turbines will generate 660-MW of energy, an output capable of powering 460,000 homes. The wind farm is expected to go on stream in 2018.

The Walney Extension project is part of a larger initiative by the UK to reduce the country’s carbon emissions and increase its usage of renewable energy sources.

Offshore wind power is growing in the UK and the technology continues to have the support of British Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative Party.

Due to their commitment to this power source, the UK is now the world leader in offshore wind development, with 4.5 GW of wind energy. This is the only beginning, as the UK expects to increase its wind power output to an estimated 23.2 GWs by 2025.