World’s biggest offshore wind farm opens off Britain’s coast (with turbines twice as high as Big Ben)

Rob Waugh
Contributor
The turbines are twice as high as Big Ben (Reuters)

The world’s largest working offshore wind farm opens today off the coast of England – with 87 turbines twice the height of Big Ben.

The wind farm in the Irish Sea off Cumbria covers an area of 55 square miles (equal to 20,000 football pitches), and can power up to 600,000 homes.

Each turbine in the Walney Extension, a Danish-led and funded project, stands up to 623ft, and is 12 miles off the coast of Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness.

Walney Extension overtakes the current largest operational wind farm, London Array, off the Kent coast in the Thames Estuary (Reuters)

Walney Extension overtakes the current largest operational wind farm, London Array, off the Kent coast in the Thames Estuary.

Construction of the project started in 2015, and has been completed by Danish energy firm Orsted, with the backing of two Danish pension funds.

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Ongoing operations and maintenance activities for the wind farm based in Barrow will support around 250 jobs.

Construction of the project started in 2015 (Reuters)

Matthew Wright, Orsted UK managing director, said: ‘The UK is the global leader in offshore wind and Walney Extension showcases the industry’s incredible success story.

‘The project, completed on time and within budget, also marks another important step towards Orsted’s vision of a world that runs entirely on green energy.

Each turbine in the Walney Extension, a Danish-led and funded project, stands up to 623ft (Reuters)

‘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.’
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry MP, said: ‘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.

‘As part of our modern Industrial Strategy we’ve set out a further £557 million of funding for new renewable projects, helping to tackle climate change and deliver clean growth to local economies.’