Thursday, February 19, 2015

U.K. Approves World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm, Farthest Ever from the Coast

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm in the UK. (Credit: Flickr / Statkraft) Click to Enlarge.
The United Kingdom has approved what will become the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, and one of the U.K.’s biggest power stations of any sort.  When completed, the Dogger Bank Creyke Beck project will have a total generating capacity of 2.4 gigawatts, enough to power about 2.5 percent of the country’s electricity needs.  Made of up two separate 1.2-gigawatt farms of up to 200 turbines each, the project will be located about 80 miles off the coast and occupy up to 430 square miles.

While final investment decisions are still being made, which will likely include backing by the U.K.’s renewable energy subsidy, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey’s approval of the record-setting project is a major step forward, bringing the wind farm into the pre-construction phase.

“This development has the potential to support hundreds of green jobs and power up to two million homes,” said Davey.  “Making the most of Britain’s home grown energy is creating jobs and businesses in the UK, getting the best deal for consumers and reducing our reliance on foreign imports.  Wind power is vital to this plan.”

If and when it’s built, the project would far exceed the 175-turbine capacity of the London Array, currently the world’s largest operating offshore wind farm at 630 megawatts.
As RenewableUK reports, the Dogger Bank Creyke Beck project would be the farthest offshore wind project from the U.K.’s shoreline, meaning “that it will be at the cutting edge of advancements in offshore wind farm development across the world.”

More powerful and reliable offshore wind turbines are being developed to harness the strong winds located farther offshore.  The Dogger Bank Creyke Beck project will be sited in shallow waters approximately 100 feet deep — it is the first phase of developing the much larger Dogger Bank zone, which comprises six sites with an estimated total capacity of up to 7.2 gigawatts.

Read more at U.K. Approves World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm, Farthest Ever from the Coast

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