World's largest offshore wind farm opens 100 turbines
The largest offshore wind farm in the world, with a total of 100 wind turbines, has just been established off the British coast. The Thanet offshore wind farm has the capacity to supply enough electricity to power 200,000 homes per year. The farm is located off the coast of Kent, in southern England. The project is part of a major renewable energy initiative, lead by the previous British government.
Vattenfall, the Swedish energy company, will be responsible for operating the wind farm. The company has also invested a total of approximately 880 million pounds for the farm development. The wind farm location is idea for operators, as the area is extremely windy. In comparison with other wind farms, an offshore turbine located near Britain is estimated to generate 50 percent more power than an identical one located in Germany, for example.
According to the European OffShore Wind Industry, half of Europe’s offshore wind farms currently under construction are located in Britain. A total of 16 are now being developed across Europe. According to RenewableUK, a trade group for the wind and marine renewable industry, wind has the ability to provide energy to close to three million British homes.
The Thanet offshore wind farm, which opened Thursday, September 23, covers a total area of 13.5 square miles, which is equivalent to 4,000 football fields, according to Vattenfall. The company is sensitive to installing wind farms in locations where the sight of the turbines offshore isn’t objected to by locals.
Thanet will only be the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm for a short period of time, as in late 2012 or 2013 the “London Array” is expected to generate power just north of the Thanet site. The plan is for a total of over 300 turbines of the Essex coast. According to the farm’s owners, the London Array has the potential to become the first one gigawatt offshore wind farm.