London Array adds final wind turbine to 630MW offshore farm

14 Dec 2012

The final offshore turbine being installed at the London Array

It has been heralded as the world’s largest offshore wind farm under construction. Now, developers of the London Array have installed all 175 turbines of the 630MW project, with the wind farm set to be working on full power in the spring of next year.

The offshore wind farm is being built around 20 kilometres off the coasts of Kent and Essex in the outer Thames Estuary. It is a joint venture between DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar, with DONG holding a 50pc stake in the London Array.

Since the first turbines were installed last January, 175 turbines and 178 array cables have now been put in place, as well as three export cables.

So far, 55 of the wind farm’s turbines have been connected and are supplying power to the UK national grid. The remaining 120 turbines will now be tested and connected to the grid over the coming months, with the wind farm on track to be fully operational in early 2013.

The 630MW wind farm will have the capacity to produce enough power to supply more than 470,000 UK homes with electricity.

“The London Array will soon be the largest operational offshore wind farm in the world,” said Benj Sykes, head of DONG Energy’s UK wind business.

“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 of energy,” he added.

Meanwhile, E.ON UK’s CEO Tony Cocker spoke about how the London Array would contribute to the UK’s low-carbon energy mix.

The consortium behind the London Array is also seeking approval to build a second phase of the wind farm, having submitted plans in October. If the second phase gets approval, this will add enough turbines to bring the total capacity of the London Array to 870MW.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic