The largest wind farm in the world went operational today off the Kent coast.
And with it, global offshore wind overtook onshore turbines in terms of power generated. According to Renewable UK, offshore capacity now stands at 1,341 megawatt (MW), compared with 1,100 MW installed in the rest of the world.
Thanet Offshore Wind Farm cost £780m and comprises 100 turbines that have a total capacity of 300MW – enough to power more than 200,000 homes a year. Each turbine is 380ft tall at its highest point, with a minimum clearance above sea level of 22m.
Located seven miles off Foreness Point, the most eastern part of Kent, the wind farm was built by Swedish firm Vattenfall, the fifth largest energy producer in Europe which also runs the Kentish Flats wind farm off Herne Bay.
The wind farm was opened by Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, who this week in Liverpool told the Liberal Democrat conference that he wanted to see giant wind farms “again and again round Britain’s coasts”.
Renewable energy now provides around 9% of Britain’s electricity consumption, according to RenewableUK.