DONG Energy has today officially opened its Burbo Bank Extension wind farm off the coast of Liverpool.
The 258MW facility, which is based seven kilometres out to sea, will use the largest and most powerful wind turbines commercially available to supply electricity to around 230,000 homes.
Each of the 32 8MW turbines is more powerful than the whole of Vindeby, the world’s first offshore wind farm.
The 195-metre structures are taller than London’s ‘Gherkin’ and their 80-metre blades have a sweep area bigger than the London Eye, with one rotation able to power a single household for 29 hours.
ELN spoke to Benj Sykes, UK Country Manager and Head of Programme Asset Management in DONG Energy’s Offshore Wind business, who said: “In terms of the cost effectiveness of offshore wind its a big milestone.
“Obviously for every wind turbine that you build you need a foundation, you need cables, you need to annually service it, so the more megawatts you can get out of each position that you build, the more efficient you can be.”
He added that larger blades also enable the turbines to operate at a larger range of wind speeds, further increasing their efficiency.
The original Burbo Bank offshore wind farm became operational in 2007 – it featured 25 3.6MW turbines, giving it a total capacity of 90MW.
Mr Sykes said “the future of energy in the UK is clean, green and affordable” and reaffirmed DONG Energy’s intentions to continue to operate in the country.
He added: “We are absolutely committed to the UK post-Brexit, it’s our biggest market in offshore wind.
“We’ve recently invested £6 billion in the UK to date and plan to invest another £6 billion by the end of this decade.”