Wind blows fair for 175th turbine at London Array off Thanet coast
Final assembly of the
first phase of the London Array wind farm
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
The first phase of the world's largest offshore wind farm off
the Kent coast is complete with the installation of the 175th
London Array, the £2billion project in the Thames Estuary, off
Ramsgate, has been supplying power to the National Grid since
October - but energy levels should rise after the latest
milestone. Turbine installation began in January 2012 .
With all turbines in place and 55 connected and supplying power
to the National Grid, the wind farm is on track to be fully
operational by next spring.
The project has involved 84 foundations, 175 wind turbines, 178
array cables and three export cables to the onshore sub-station at
Cleve Hill, Graveney.
London Array, a consortium of DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar, is
now focusing on the commissioning and testing of the remaining
turbines before the project is handed over to an operations and
maintenance team, largely based in Ramsgate. The project has
injected an estimated £15million into the east Kent economy.
The first phase has a combined capacity of 630MW - enough power
for 470,000 homes. A second phase, for which planning permission is
being sought, would boost the total to 870MW, adding up to 65 extra
turbines. The area is less than originally envisaged to protect the
wintering grounds of rare red-throated divers from northern
Benj Sykes, head of DONG Energy's UK wind business, said: "The
London Array will soon be the largest operational offshore wind
farm in the world - building offshore wind farms of this size and
larger in the future allows us to harvest the advantages of scale
and is an important element of our strategy to drive down the cost
Tony Cocker, E.ON chief executive officer, added that it was a
significant milestone for London Array and the UK.
"I look forward to seeing London Array's contribution to the
UK’s low carbon energy mix for many years to come."
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Masdar CEO, said: "This milestone
brings us a step closer to showcasing the economic, social and
environmental benefits of clean energy."