The world’s largest offshore wind farm, situated off England’s south east coast, was officially opened last week.
The Thanet Offshore Wind Farm consists of 100 wind turbines and will generate enough electricity for the equivalent of 200,000 UK households.
Constructed by Vattenfall, the company says by 2011 it will have constructed nine wind farms in six countries to supply clean electricity equivalent to the requirements of 800,000 households annually.
Thanet Offshore Wind Farm’s 300 megawatts (MW) will take UK installed wind power capacity to in excess of 5,000MW – enough electricity to power all the homes in Scotland.
Each wind turbine at the facility is up to 115 metres high. The wind farm covers an area of 35 square kilometres, around the size of 4,000 soccer fields. The cost of the project, funded in part by the UK Government, was approximately EUR 1 billion; around 1.4 billion in Australian dollars at current exchange rates.
The wind farm took just over two years to construct and will be in operation for at least 25 years.
Including Thanet, Vattenfall is now producing 25 per cent of the world’s offshore wind power. The company fully or partially owns and operates eight off-shore wind farms in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, England and one in Germany. Vattenfall’s share of their total production capacity amounts to 690 MW
Vattenfall is currently constructing the Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm in the Irish Sea, which will consist of thirty 5 MW turbines and a German project that will have eighty turbines.