First phase of London Array offshore wind farm complete

10 April 2013 (Last Updated April 10th, 2013 04:30)

The first phase of the world's largest offshore wind farm, the London Array, has been completed.

London Array

The first phase of the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the London Array, has been completed.

Jointly owned by E.ON, Dong Energy and Masdar, the £3bn project is located 20km from the Kent and Essex coasts in the outer Thames Estuary.

Phase I covers an area of 90km² and includes 175 Siemens SWT-3.6MW turbines with a combined capacity of 630MW.

Project director Richard Rigg said the commissioning marks the conclusion of more than two years’ offshore construction work, which commenced in March 2011 with the installation of the first foundation.

"It has been a complex operation but I am delighted that the commissioning of the wind farm has now been completed on schedule, despite the worst of the winter weather," said Rigg.

EON said in a statement that a possible second phase could add enough capacity to bring the total to 870MW.

Dong Energy owns 50% of the project, while E.ON and Masdar hold 30% and 20% stakes, respectively.

London Array will be capable of generating enough energy to power nearly half a million homes and reduce harmful CO2 emissions by more than 900,000 tonnes per year.

The project will meet nearly 7% of the UK Government’s renewable energy target by providing 15.4% of the UK’s electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

Image: The London Array wind farm will meet the electricity needs of about half a million homes in the UK.