The Walney Extension off the Cumbrian coast has officially opened, claiming the title of world’s largest wind farm site.
With 102 turbines already located on the site, the Walney Extension saw the installation of an additional 87. The wind farm, which sits in the Irish Sea about 19km off Barrow-in-Furness, now covers an area of around 145 sq km, with each turbine soaring 190m into the sky. The 659-megawatt project is capable of generating enough green energy to power almost 600,000 homes. It overtakes the London Array in the Thames Estuary as the world’s biggest wind farm.
“The UK is the global leader in offshore wind and Walney Extension showcases the industry’s incredible success story,” said Matthew Wright, UK managing director for Ørsted, which owns the wind farm. “The project, completed on time and within budget, also marks another important step towards Ørsted’s vision of a world that runs entirely on green energy.
“The North-West region plays an important role in our UK offshore wind operations and our aim is to make a lasting and positive impact here. We want to ensure that the local community becomes an integral part of the renewable energy revolution that’s happening along its coastline.”
The Walney Extension features 40 MHI Vestas 8MW turbines and a further 47 Siemens Gamesa 7MW turbines, with blades manufactured in Hull and the Isle of Wight. According to Ørsted, the project has worked with more than 50 key suppliers from across the UK, supporting the growth of offshore wind ‘clusters’ around the country. The Extension brings the total capacity operating out of Barrow to 1.5 gigawatts, which is enough to power more than 1.2 million UK homes. Ørsted’s ongoing operations and maintenance activities will support more than 250 direct jobs in the region.
“Record-breaking engineering landmarks like this huge offshore wind farm help us consolidate our global leadership position, break records for generating renewable energy, and create thousands of high-quality jobs,” said Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry.