German firms RWE, Stadtwerke München and Siemens have started operations at the 576MW Gwynt y Mor offshore wind farm in north Wales, UK.
Construction of the offshore facility began in January 2012 and required £2bn investment.
The wind farm is 60% owned by the renewable unit of the German firm, RWE Innogy, along with Stadtwerke München (30%) and Siemens (10%).
The power plant is equipped with 160 turbines from Siemens. It will be able to meet the energy requirements of more than 400,000 homes in the UK. It also features 160 steel monopile foundations, two massive offshore substations and 134kms of onshore cable installations.
UK Energy & Climate Change Secretary of State Amber Rudd said: "Gwynt y Môr has a key role to play in our long-term plan to develop a secure energy mix in this country that is diverse and home grown."
A £3.6m operations and maintenance base for the facility has been built at the Port of Mostyn. It is located eight miles away from the coast in Liverpool Bay and is the second largest offshore wind facility in the world.
RWE chief executive officer Peter Terium said: "The expansion of renewable energy is one of our main growth areas. We currently expect to invest over 1 billion Euros up to 2017 in growing renewables, with wind power at the forefront of that investment."
RWE Innogy CEO Hans Bünting said: "At the end of this year, 40% of our power generation from renewables will already come from offshore power production. Due to this increase in offshore capacity our operating result will see double-digit growth
SWM’s Chief Executive Officer Florian Bieberbach said: "Gwynt y Môr marks the second offshore wind park in which we are participating that has been successfully completed.
"Gwynt y Môr is a further significant building block in our Renewable Energies Expansion Campaign. By the year 2025, we want to generate sufficient green electricity to cover Munich’s entire consumption."
Image: Siemens has supplied 160 of its 3.6MW wind turbines for the facility. Photo: courtesy of Siemens AG.