World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm Now Operating in Britain
DONG Energy and partners SSE and OPW have officially opened what they are calling the largest offshore wind farm in the world.
Located off the shores of Cumbria, Britain, the Walney wind farm employs 102 Siemens wind turbines that combined are capable of generating up to 376.2 MW of renewable electricity. The wind farm was built in two phases, Walney 1 and 2. Walney 2 was constructed in just over 5 months, which the companies claim is a record setting feat.
“DONG Energy is delighted to have developed this record-breaking wind farm. Not only is it the world’s biggest wind farm but it has been built in the fastest time ever and it marked a new era in terms of financing being the first project in the UK backed by institutional investors. Walney is a landmark in offshore wind and DONG Energy’s strong drive to further industrialise offshore wind power and cut costs. It demonstrates our commitment to invest in the UK,” said Anders Eldrup, CEO of DONG Energy.
The $1.58 billion project is also the first UK offshore wind facility to receive investment from a pension fund service provider and an equity fund before it had even been built. In December 2010, OPW, a consortium of the Dutch pension fund service provider PGGM and Ampere Equity Fund acquired a 24.8 per cent stake in the project.
While the UK is hosting record breaking offshore wind developments the United States is seemingly dragging behind. It took Cape Wind Associates 10 years just to get the permits to construct what will likely be the first offshore wind installation to be constructed off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Last week, however, the U.S. Department of Interior announced its "Smart from the Start" offshore wind energy initiative had crossed a significant milestone when its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment found issuing leases in the designated Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) of the mid-Atlantic Coast would cause no "significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts."
This could mean that permitting offshore wind power development in the United States could become a whole lot easier, which may entice both developers and investors.
Image Credit: s-ariga via Flickr
Energy Boom content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be advice regarding the investment merits of, or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of, any security identified on, or linked through, this site.