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The World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm is Here


The world’s biggest offshore wind farm is here, and it’s huge.

Ørsted, a Danish energy company, began operating the world’s biggest offshore wind farm today, it announced. The 659 MW-capacity Walney Extension site in the Irish Sea pips the previous record holder, the London Array, by 29 megawatts.

The gigantic Walney Extension consists of 87 Gamesa and MHI Vestas turbines spread over 145 square kilometers (about the size of Miami). The MHI Vestas turbines, also in operation elsewhere, are the world’s largest and produce 8 MW each.

The U.K. is the world leader in offshore installation, hosting some 36% of the world’s offshore wind generation, according to the Global Wind Energy Council, a trade group.

The Walney Extension contract, signed in 2014, guaranteed a minimum price of £150 ($195) per megawatt hour for 15 years. Since then the costs of offshore wind have dropped by more than half. The most recent bid at auction from an offshore wind source in the U.K. was just £57.70, Reuters reports.

Trade association Renewable UK predicts that wind will account for more than 10% of U.K. electricity production by 2020.

Ørsted should not get too comfortable with its title, however. New sites under construction elsewhere in the U.K. may steal Walney Extension’s crown as soon as 2020.



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