Saturday marked the second-year anniversary of the inauguration and completion of London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The sophisticated, 630MW wind power project — and Masdar’s largest international investment to date — continues to deliver clean and reliable energy to more than half-a-million homes throughout the United Kingdom.
Since its launch, London Array has produced more than five-terawatt hours of affordable, renewable electricity, while mitigating more than two million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. “As the largest operating offshore wind farm, the London Array has helped lead the way for the global renewable energy sector,” said Dr Ahmad Belhoul, chief executive officer of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy and clean-technology company.
“London Array’s performance over the past two years is a powerful example of renewable energy’s emergence as a cost-effective means to deliver clean power to millions of citizens — no longer are renewables an expensive alternative power for the few.”
Spread out across 100 sqkm — equal to 10,000 football pitches — the construction of this expansive offshore windfarm pushed the limits of design and logistics, with 60 sea vessels and 1,000 people at the installation’s site at that time. Those efforts resulted in 175 wind turbines that, today, power nearly one in 50 British homes.
“London Array is a testament to the UAE’s status as a responsible and innovative energy leader, and is one reason why Masdar has earned its reputation in the marketplace as one of the world’s most forward-thinking energy companies,” Dr Belhoul added.
A joint venture between E.ON (30 per cent), Dong Energy (25 per cent), La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (25 per cent) and Masdar (20 per cent), London Array is located in the outer Thames Estuary in the UK, 20km off the coast of Kent in southeast England.
The components of the offshore installation are also impressive as each wind turbine has a circumference that is equivalent to one-and-a-half times the size of the football pitch of London’s Wembley Stadium. The turbines are designed to run for more than 20 years, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
The development of London Array positioned Masdar as a leader in the offshore wind power sector and enabled the company to pursue further projects, such as the 402MW Dudgeon offshore wind farm under construction in the North Sea.
In the Middle East, Masdar is also partnering on the development of onshore wind farms in Jordan and Oman. Globally, Masdar has 1.5GW of clean energy in operation or under development.