Vattenfall inaugurates world’s largest offshore wind farm

Vattenfall officially opened the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, off England’s south east coast. The wind farm has 100 wind turbines and will generate electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of over 200,000 British households.

To Vattenfall, one of the leading European energy companies, wind power is an important part of the energy mix. Between 2009 and 2011, the company will double its wind energy electricity generation, constructing nine wind farms in six countries to supply electricity equivalent to the demand of 800,000 households annually.

Thanet is so far the company’s largest offshore wind farm and a significant investment in renewable energy generation. The electricity generated from the English Channel winds will constitute a significant increase of green energy in the UK and a considerable contribution to Vattenfall’s efforts to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from its electricity generation.

The opening ceremony took place at sea with the CEO and President of Vattenfall, Øystein Løseth, and the British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne MP, among the participants and the 100 wind power turbines as an impressive backdrop.

“With Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, Vattenfall has taken a major step towards doubling its generation from wind power until 2011 and we continue to lead the way in offshore wind development. Wind power will be a cornerstone of delivering both profitability and sustainability for Vattenfall in the years to come,” says Øystein Løseth, adding, “This project would not have been possible without the British Government’s active support and its commitment to renewable energy.”

Pointing out that Thanet Offshore Wind Farm’s 300 megawatts (MW) will take UK installed wind power capacity across the 5,000 MW line, Rt. Hon. Chris Huhne MP hailed Vattenfall’s impressive engineering achievement and praised the energy company’s commitment to wind power in the UK.

He said: “I’m pleased that we’ve reached the point where 5 GW of our energy comes from onshore and offshore wind energy – that’s enough electricity to power all the homes in Scotland. Getting these massive structures out here into the sea is a tremendous feat of engineering and I applaud all involved with this awesome achievement”.

“We are in a unique position to become a world leader in this industry. We are an island nation and I firmly believe we should be harnessing our wind, wave and tidal resources to the maximum. I know that there is still more to do to bring forward the large sums of investment we want to see in low-carbon energy in the UK, and we as Government are committed to playing our part”.

The construction of the 300 MW Thanet Offshore Wind Farm has taken just over two years and the wind farm is expected to operate for at least 25 years. At 300 MW, it is the largest offshore wind farm in the world. Each wind turbine is up to 115 metres tall at its highest point. The wind farm covers an area of 35 square kilometres, which is enough to cover 4,000 football pitches.