28th October 2015
By Joanne Birtwistle – Publications Editor
DONG Energy, a Danish energy company which owns the huge Walney Offshore Wind Farm off the Cumbrian/Lancastrian coast line, has announced it is to go ahead with the 660MW Walney Extension.
The Walney Extension to the offshore wind farm, located in the Irish Sea around 19 km off the west coast, is expected to be fully commissioned in 2018.
The extension means it will be the biggest offshore wind farm in the world, surpassing the 630MW London Array Offshore Wind Farm which was commissioned in 2014 by DONG Energy and its partners.
DONG said the final investment decision has been made after securing all necessary consents from authorities, completing site assessments and having signed the majority of the contracts for supply and installation to build the project.
Samuel Leupold, executive vice president at DONG Energy, said:“Walney Extension will deliver clean electricity to more than 460,000 UK homes and I’m very pleased that we can now start construction of what will be the world’s biggest offshore wind farm when completed.
“Building this offshore wind farm will bring us significantly closer to realising our strategy of having 6.5GW of installed capacity online by 2020.”
The company wll be installing two different turbines: 40 8MW turbines from MHI Vestas Offshore Wind and 47 Siemens 7MW offshore turbines.
Leupold continued:“British offshore wind has seen phenomenal growth in recent years. A prerequisite for long term growth in the industry is that offshore wind eventually can compete on costs with other energy technologies. Building Walney Extension will bring us one step closer to that target, and I’m satisfied to see that we keep bringing costs down, while continuing to expand the UK supply chain.
“I’m also excited about the fact that turbine blades, part of the foundations and cable installation will come from UK manufacturing facilities and vessels and create local jobs.”