Miranda Dobson

World's largest wind farm produces first power

German energy firm, E.ON, began producing power from the world’s largest offshore wind farm on Monday.

Over 470,000 homes in the UK will eventually be provided with electricity from 175 turbines based in the Thames Estuary.

The London Array Offshore Wind Farm, which E.ON began building in March last year, is a 630 MW scheme which produced its first watts of power this week.

Construction has not yet been completed, as 151 out of the total number of turbines planned have been erected to date.

The project is a joint venture between DONG Energy, Masdar and E.ON, and is located off the Kent and Essex coasts.

The two sites will cover 245 square km that will be built in two stages, and will potentially combine to offer a 870 MW capacity.

Benj Sykes, the Wind UK Country Manager for DONG, who owns 50% of the project’s shareholdings, commented on the wind farm’s landmark.

He said: “With its 630 MW the London Array project will be the first of the next generation of larger offshore wind farms and we are pleased to have reached first power.

“Being able to efficiently develop large offshore wind farms and harvest the scale advantages in both construction and operation is an important element in our continuous efforts to bring down costs of energy of offshore wind.”

Dr. Tony Cocker, Chief Executive of E.ON UK,commented: “This is not only a very important milestone for the London Array development but also a major landmark for the global renewables sector.”

Masdar’s Chief Executive, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber has a 20% stake in The London Array scheme.

He commented: “The London Array development is an example of the true potential and commercial viability of renewable energy.

“It is also a model of the collaboration and action required to implement large-scale clean energy projects in an effort to sustainable meet our growing energy demands.”

E.ON’s chief concluded: “We firmly believe that electricity from renewable sources has a vital part to play in helping us to deliver energy in a way that is sustainable, affordable and secure and this is why we are aiming to reduce the costs of offshore wind by 40% by 2015.”

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