A further 51 wind turbines will then be built in March and are expected to be completed by the end of the year. Danish firm Dong Energy owns 51 per cent of the wind farm with Scottish and Southern Energy and a Danish and Dutch investment consortium as a junior partners.
The wind energy plant will supply a third of a million UK homes when it is completed at the end of this year – one and a half times the total number of homes in Cumbria.
When fully operational, the Walney 1 and 2 wind farms, will have a capacity of 367.2 megawatts of CO2-free renewable energy production. The wind farm will employ around 60 people based at new offices and workshops being built in the docks on Barrow Island.
Dong says that will provide opportunities for partnerships with local business throughout the project lifetime and create jobs in the Furness area. Niels Bergh-Hansen, executive vice president of Dong Energy, said: “The United Kingdom 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 1 is a tangible result of our efforts to increase our production of renewable energy.” Colin Hood, SSE’s chief operating officer, said: “This is a major milestone in the development of Walney Wind Farm and it demonstrates the excellent progress being made on the project.
“As the UK’s leading generator of electricity from renewable sources, SSE is committed to helping to increase further the amount of renewable electricity generation in the UK, and the export of electricity at Walney is a step towards achieving this.”