Where are the biggest wind farms in the world? Power-technology.com has taken a look and ranked the top 10 biggest.
Jiuquan Wind Power Base, China
Jiuquan Wind Power Base is the world’s biggest wind farm, with a planned installed capacity of 20GW. Also known as Gansu Wind Farm, it will feature 7,000 wind turbines installed across the Jiuquan, Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Xinjiang, Jiangsu and Shandong provinces of Gansu, China.
The project is being implemented as part of Renewable Energy Law announced in February 2005, setting out to achieve 200GW of installed wind capacity in the country. In November 2010, the 5.16GW, 3,500-turbine first phase of the wind farm was completed.
A 750kV high-voltage direct current transmission line is also being developed by the State Grid Corporation of China to transmit the electricity generated from the wind and solar projects in the region to the booming central and eastern parts of China.
Jaisalmer Wind Park, India
The 1,600MW Jaisalmer wind park is India’s biggest wind farm. Developed by Suzlon Energy, the project features a group of wind farms located in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan, India.
Suzlon constructed the wind farms for a range of customers, including private and public sector companies, independent power producers and power utility providers. Some of the clients include Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals and CLP India.
The wind farms are installed with various models of wind turbines manufactured by Suzlon, including S97-120m, S97- 2.1MW and S111-90m.
Alta Wind Energy Centre (AWEC) in Tehachapi, Kern County, California, has an operational capacity of 1,548MW. The first five stages of AWEC were commissioned in 2011.
Two additional stages were installed in the next year. The first stage consists of 100 GE 1.5MW SLE turbines. The other six operational stages are installed with Vestas V 90-3.0MW turbines. The seventh, eighth and ninth stages operate with the same Vestas turbines. The last two stages have been installed with GE 1.7MW and GE 2.85MW turbines.
The onshore wind farm was originally developed by Terra-Gen Power, but the company later redistributed various stages of the project to different companies. NRG Renew owns and operates 948MW of the wind farm, BHE Renewables owns and operates 300MW and EverPower owns and operates 150MW. The remaining 150MW is owned and operated by Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners.
Muppandal Wind Farm, India
The 1,500MW Muppandal wind farm is the biggest onshore wind farm in India. It consists of a group of wind farms in the Kanyakumari district of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
The area in and around Muppandal features vast amount of barren land, which is not fit for cultivation but boasts of high pressure winds making it an ideal location for the development of wind farms. Muppandal receives strong winds for nine months a year from the west, due to the presence of the Western Ghats mountain range.
The wind farms within the project have varying installed capacities and feature turbines from various manufacturers, including Vestas, NEPC India, AMTL, TTG and Suzlon.
The 845MW Shepherds Flat Wind Farm near Arlington in Eastern Oregon, US, is the fifth biggest wind farm in the world.
Developed by Caithness Energy, the wind farm covers more than 30 square miles in the Morrow and Gilliam Counties.
The Shepherds Flat Wind Farm project broke ground in 2009 with an estimated cost of $2bn. The project received a loan guarantee of $1.3bn from the US Department of Energy in October 2010. The wind farm commenced operations in September 2012.
Shepherds Flat comprises 338 GE2.5XL turbines, which have a rated capacity of 2.5MW each. The power output of the wind farm is supplied to Southern California Edison. The renewable power generated by the wind farm is enough to serve 235,000 households.
Located 45 miles south-west of Abilene in Texas, US, Roscoe Wind Farm is owned and operated by Germany-based company E.ON Climate and Renewables .
Covering 400km² of farmland, the 781.5MW wind farm comprises 627 wind turbines placed 900ft apart from each other. The renewable power project was built in four phases between 2007 and 2009, becoming operational in October 2009.
The first phase of the wind farm comprises 209 Mitsubishi 1MW turbines, while the second phase is installed with 55 Siemens 2.3MW turbines. The third and the fourth phases feature 166 GE 1.5MW and 197 Mitsubishi 1MW turbines respectively.
Horse Hollow Wind Energy Centre, Texas, US
Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center is located in Taylor and Nolan County, Texas, US. It is a 735.5MW facility owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources.
The wind farm was commissioned in four phases during 2005 and 2006. Blattner Energy was the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project. The electricity generated by the wind mill is enough to meet the power needs of approximately 180,000 households.
The wind farm covers an area of 47,000 acres. The first three phases of the project are installed with 142 GE 1.5MW wind turbines, 130 Siemens 2.3MW wind turbines and 149 GE 1.5MW wind turbines, respectively.
Capricorn Ridge Wind Farm, Texas, US
The 662.5MW Capricorn Ridge Wind Farm that is located in Sterling and Coke counties, Texas, US, is an onshore wind farm owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources.
It was built in two phases, with the first phase commissioned in 2007 and the second in 2008. GE Energy Financial Services and JPMorgan Chase announced they would invest $225m in Capricorn Ridge in February 2012.
The wind farm is installed with 342 GE 1.5MW wind turbines and 65 Siemens 2.3MW wind turbines. Each turbine is more than 260ft-tall from the ground to the centre of the hub. The wind farm generates enough electricity for more than 220,000 households.
Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm is located in the Irish Sea and has a total capacity of 659MW. The project is 50%-owned and operated by Ørsted, with the remaining half of the ownership shared equally between Danish pension funds PKA (25%) and PFA (25%).
The wind farm is 19km off the shore of the Walney Island coast in Cumbria, covering 145km² in the Irish Sea. It is installed with 40 MHI Vestas 8MW wind turbines and 47 Siemens Gamesa 7MW wind turbines.
The project was officially inaugurated in September 2018 and can generate enough electricity to power 600,000 homes in the UK. The electricity generated by the wind farm is transmitted onshore through two 4,000t offshore substations.
The London Array Offshore Wind Farm, the largest offshore wind farm in the world with an installed capacity of 630MW, ranks as the world’s sixth largest wind farm. It is located in the outer Thames Estuary more than 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex.
London Array was officially opened in July 2013. It is owned and developed by Denmark’s Dong Energy, Germany’s E.On and the Abu Dhabi-based Masdar. Offshore construction of the £3bn ($4.8bn) offshore wind project started in March 2011.
The last turbine was installed in December 2012.
The wind farm comprises of 175 Siemens 3.6MW wind turbines rising up to 87m above sea level. The rotor diameter of each turbine is 120m. The offshore wind farm has the capacity to power about two-thirds of Kent’s households.
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