RenewableUK has welcomed the announcement that all 175 turbines at the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm, London Array, are now generating clean electricity.
The turbines were installed in the Thames Estuary between January and December last year. First power was generated in October 2012 and with the 175th turbine now online, Phase One of London Array is fully operational.
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery, said: “Britain has a real achievement to celebrate here – the largest operational offshore wind farm in the world is generating clean electricity for British homes and businesses. It’s a monumental feat of green engineering. Other massive projects are also coming to fruition in UK waters, such as Teesside, Gwynt y Mor off the coast of North Wales and Gunfleet Sands off the Essex coast, where the next generation of even more powerful offshore turbines is being tested in the water for the first time anywhere in the world.
“To hold on to the UK’s global lead in offshore wind, it’s vital that we maintain this momentum. We must ensure that the crucial legislation going through Parliament right now – the Energy Bill – sets a rock-solid framework to encourage investment in renewables.
“If MPs get the details of the Bill right, we can unlock billions of pounds of investment for more flagship low-carbon projects like London Array, and create 76,000 jobs in the British wind industry by the dawn of the next decade.
“To secure those jobs, and to safeguard employment for future generations, we’re also urging the Government to articulate a clear vision of the scale of its ambition for the wind industry in the longer term, beyond 2020”.
The 630 megawatt (MW) London Array Phase One project has the capacity to power nearly half a million homes – equivalent to two-thirds of the homes in Kent. It will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 900,000 tonnes a year.
The announcement follows the news that the 75th and final turbine was installed at Lincs offshore wind farm on Sunday, 31st March. The 270MW project off the coast of Skegness has the capacity to power more than 200,000 homes. It will be operated and maintained from a base in Grimsby.