Prime Minister David Cameron inaugurates world’s largest offshore wind farm
630MW London Array powering half a million UK homes
DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar today, (4 July 2013) officially opened the world’s largest offshore wind farm, London Array, at a ceremony attended by Prime Minster David Cameron, alongside other dignitaries. Over 350 people attended the inauguration at Turner Contemporary in Margate, Kent.
London Array, the 630MW offshore wind farm located in the Outer Thames Estuary, first started generating power in October 2012. The 175th turbine was bought online in March 2013 and London Array is now celebrating the completion and full operation of the site, which could supply around 500,000 UK homes with electricity each year.
Construction began in July 2009 when work started to build a new onshore substation on the north Kent coast to flow the energy generated by London Array straight into the national grid. Offshore the first foundation was installed in March 2011; the 175th and final Siemens 3.6MW turbine was installed on time in December 2012. Over 75 organisations have helped to build London Array with over 6,700 individuals involved.
Speaking at the launch event, Prime Minister, David Cameron said: "This is a great day for Kent and a great day for Britain. London Array has been built by some of the bravest seamen, the most talented engineers and hardest workers. It will bring benefits to Kent for years to come."
Brent Cheshire, UK Country Chairman, DONG Energy said: “With the addition of London Array, DONG Energy has now installed enough offshore wind in the UK to power 1 million homes. This project is also a real milestone on the path to cutting the cost of offshore wind. As projects get even bigger and move further offshore, we must continue to harvest the advantages of scale to bring down the costs.”
Tony Cocker, Chief Executive Officer of E.ON UK, commented: “London Array is a major landmark for global renewable investment and I’d like to thank all those involved in making it a reality. We firmly believe that electricity from renewable sources has a vital part to play in helping us deliver energy in a way that is sustainable, affordable and secure. That’s why, as we learn and improve from each wind farm that we build, we’re aiming to reduce the cost of offshore wind by 40% by 2015.”
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “This inauguration is a historic milestone for the United Kingdom and the development of renewable energy. Projects like London Array demonstrate the economic opportunity of large-scale renewable energy projects – from the direct investment they attract to the industries they strengthen.
“London Array also exemplifies what can be achieved through smart policies and strong partnerships,” added Dr. Al Jaber. “Masdar is a committed partner in addressing the world’s growing need for clean energy. We look forward to extending our portfolio and finding ways to integrate renewable energy that delivers a lasting impact.”
London Array is located around 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex on a 100km2 site. Its 175 Siemens 3.6MW turbines have a combined capacity of 630MW and are expected to produce enough electricity to power over half a million UK homes each year.
The project consortium partners have the following shareholdings: DONG Energy owns 50%, E.ON has 30% and Masdar has a 20% stake.