The Walney Extension with its 87 wind turbines is currently the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm, covering an area of 145 square kilometres.
The world’s largest operational offshore wind farm – which has been worked on by suppliers from Carlisle to Lancaster – will officially open today (6 September).
Walney Extension is a 659-megawatt (MW) project owned by Ørsted (50 per cent) and partners PKA (25 per cent) and PFA (25 per cent. It comprises 87 wind turbines which are capable of generating enough green energy to power almost 600,000 UK homes.
Covering an area of 145 sq km in the Irish Sea, the development is Ørsted’s 11th in the UK. The company now has total capacity operating out of Barrow up to 1.5 gigawatts (GW). The ongoing operations and maintenance activities will support more than 250 jobs.
Matthew Wright, Ørsted UK managing director, said: “The UK is the global leader in offshore wind and Walney Extension showcases the industry’s incredible success story. The project, completed on time and within budget, also marks another important step towards Ørsted’s vision of a world that runs entirely on green energy.
“The North West region plays an important role in our UK offshore wind operations and our aim is to make a lasting and positive impact here. We want to ensure that the local community becomes an integral part of the renewable energy revolution that’s happening along its coastline.”
Energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry added: “Record-breaking engineering landmarks like this huge offshore windfarm help us consolidate our global leadership position, break records for generating renewable energy, and create thousands of high quality jobs.
“As part of our modern Industrial Strategy we’ve set out a further £557m of funding for new renewable projects, helping to tackle climate change and deliver clean growth to local economies.”
As part of Ørsted’s commitment to the region, a £15m Walney Extension community fund has been set up to support local projects and organisations. Each year, about £600,000 will be made available for the expected 25-year lifespan of the wind farm.