World’s largest offshore wind farm goes on the grid

23 Sep 2010

The largest offshore wind farm in the world, off the coast of Kent, UK, is set to start generating electricity today.

Construction began on the Thanet offshore wind farm in a year ago and its 100 turbines, each measuring at 300ft, are expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 200,000 homes.

The facility, built by Swedish energy giant Vattenfall – suppliers of heat and energy to several million customers in northern Europe – cost an estimated €912m.

The wind farm will increase the amount of energy generated from offshore wind in the UK by a third to 1,314MW (megawatts), compared to 1,100MW in the rest of the world.

Renewable energy

“This is a milestone in the development of renewable energy for a sustainable society. For Vattenfall, it is a springboard to the future – both to the British market and to large-scale offshore wind power,” according to a Vattenfall company statement.

“This is an expression not only of the rapid technological development in offshore wind power, but also of Vattenfall’s development strategy, where the UK is seen as one of the main future markets for offshore wind power.”

The energy company maintains there is a broad political unity in the UK about the plans for sea-based wind power, and that the windy islands provide a greater potential than any other European country.