The addition of 87 wind turbines to the 102 turbines already in operation means the Walney project now generates 659MW of power, leapfroging London Array to become the world’s largest operational wind farm.
Walney Extension covers an area of 145km 2 in the Irish Sea, equivalent to 20,000 football pitches, with 47 MHI 8MW turbines from Vestas and 40 7MW turbines Siemens Gamesa with the blades manufactured in the UK at Hull and the Isle of Wight.
The completion of the extension brings Ørsted’s total capacity operating out of the area up to 1.5GW, enough to power more than 1.2 million UK homes.
"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," said Matthew Wright, Ørsted UK managing director
"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 £557 million of funding for new renewable projects, helping to tackle climate change and deliver clean growth to local economies," said Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry.
A £15million Walney Extension community fund has been set up to support local projects and organisations. Each year £100,000 is also ring-fenced for a 'Skills Fund' to promote education, support local students and increase uptake of STEM subjects for young people. Ørsted has expanded its apprenticeship scheme to the West coast and has partnered with Furness College to deliver the three-year courses for the next generation of wind turbine technicians.
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