UK Seeks More Off-Shore Wind Power

After revealing plans to build the World’s largest offshore wind farm this summer, the UK government has approved another significantly-sized installation earlier this week.

Consent has been given for Danish company Dong Energy A/S to install a new off-shore wind farm 19km west of the Cumbrian coast, close tot he existing ‘Walney I’ and ‘Walney II’ facilities.

Dong said it expects to put in 207 new turbines, with a projected yield of around 660 megawatts – enough to power as many as a half-million homes in conjunction with the existing two sites.

UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said: “Another large wind farm is now closer to being built – and each one gives us more home-grown, clean and secure energy supplies.”

“This decision to grant development consent now clears the way for the company to make a final investment decision on the project,” Benj Sykes, vice president of U.K. wind for Dong, added.

The news comes as ministers were forced to reassess the UK’s approach to renewable energy last month, with the conclusion being that the country will likely fail to meet it’s EU target of 20 percent of all energy from renewables by 2020.

In a bid to chase this target the UK now has five off-shore wind projects of 750 megawatts in development, all of which will begin onshore construction by 2016 and hope to be online by 2020.

22 operational offshore wind farms totaling 3,653 megawatts of capacity currently dot the UK coastline with the biggest currently the 630-megawatt London Array (a collaboration between four companies, including Dong).

The new Walney site’s 660 megawatts may dwarf that, but will be activated in the same year as the record-breaking 1,200 megawatt East Anglia ONE site, which could potentially see it’s tenure as the highest-capacity offshore wind farm in the UK be very short-lived.