LONDON, Oct. 29 — Danish global energy giant Dong Energy announced Wednesday it would construct what will be the world's largest offshore wind farm off the northwest coast of northern England.
The proposed 660 megawatt (MW) wind farm, known as the Walney Extension, will be located in the Irish Sea, about 19 km off the British coast.
In a statement, Dong Energy said the final investment decision had been made after securing all necessary approval from authorities, completing site assessments, and having signed the majority of the contracts for supply and installation to build the project.
The new wind farm is expected to be fully commissioned in 2018, at which time it will be the biggest offshore wind farm in the world, surpassing the 630 MW London Array Offshore Wind Farm which was commissioned in 2014 by Dong Energy and its partners.
Samuel Leupold, executive vice president at Dong Energy, said: "Walney Extension will deliver clean electricity to more than 460,000 UK homes and I'm very pleased that we can now start construction of what will be the world's biggest offshore wind farm when completed. Building this offshore wind farm will bring us significantly closer to realizing our strategy of having 6.5 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity online by 2020."
Dong Energy has decided to apply two different turbines: 40 8 MW turbines from MHI Vestas Offshore Wind and 47 Siemens 7 MW offshore turbines.
Leupold added: "British offshore wind has seen phenomenal growth in recent years. A prerequisite for long-term growth in the industry is that offshore wind eventually can compete on costs with other energy technologies. Building Walney Extension will bring us one step closer to that target, and I'm satisfied to see that we keep bringing costs down, while continuing to expand the UK supply chain."
The Dong executive also said he was glad that many parts of the farm would be provided by UK manufacturing facilities which would in turn create local jobs.
When the Walney Extension has been completed, Dong Energy will have built a total of 5,089 megawatts, corresponding to the annual consumption of electricity of more than 12.5 million Europeans. (PNA/Xinhua)