Two new UK wind farms have generated electricity for the first time.
Greater Gabbard, 23km off the Suffolk coast, and Walney, 15km west of Barrow-in-Furness, both reached the milestone on Friday.
Greater Gabbard is owned and developed by Scottish & Southern Energy and RWE npower renewables, the UK subsidiary of RWE Innogy. Three turbines kicked in on Friday and exported electricity to the national grid. Once fully operational, Greater Gabbard will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
Construction of Walney started last March with 51 turbines now installed. The first turbines were also energised and exported power on Friday. Walney is expected to be fully commissioned in a few months with work on a second wind farm in the same area due to start around March.
SSE owns a 25.1% stake in Walney, with the other partners Dong Energy and a consortium of PGGM and Dutch Ampère Equity Fund.
SSE’s chief operating officer Colin Hood said: “This is a major milestone in the development of Walney and Greater Gabbard. SSE is committed to helping to increase further the amount of renewable electricity generation in the UK, and the export of electricity at Walney and Greater Gabbard is a step towards achieving this.”
Dong’s executive vice-president Niels Bergh-Hansen said: “The UK has a very ambitious plan for expanding the production of renewable energy and a target of making green energy and reliability of supply go hand in hand, and we are pleased to be able to contribute to the expansion of renewable energy. The first power from Walney is a tangible result of our efforts to increase our production of renewable energy.”