World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Opens in Irish Sea… And It’s HUGE

walney extension world's largest offshore wind farm
Photo: Orsted

The 659MW Walney Extension offshore wind farm has 87 wind turbines capable of generating enough green energy to power almost 600,000 UK homes.

By Jeremy Hodges (Bloomberg) — Orsted A/S unveiled the world’s largest offshore wind farm, an 87-turbine complex in the Irish Sea covering an area more than double the size of Manhattan.

The Walney Extension off the coast of northwest England has a generating capacity of 659 megawatts and is capable of powering 590,000 homes, according to Danish company Orsted, the world’s biggest developer of offshore wind farms.

MHI Vestas Offshore Wind A/S and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA provided the turbines for the project that began construction in August 2015. The Vestas 8-megawatt turbines stand 195 meters tall while the 7-megawatt version by Siemens is 154 meters from sea level to blade tip.

Largest Offshore Global Wind Farms by Capacity

Offshore project Capacity (MW) No. of turbines Country Walney Extension 659 87 U.K. London Array 630 175 U.K. Gemini 600 750 Netherlands Gode I & II 582 97 Germany Gwynt Y Mor 576 160 U.K. Race Bank 573 91 U.K. Greater Gabbard 504 140 U.K. Dudgeon 402 67 U.K. Veja Mate 402 67 Germany Rampion 400.2 116 U.K.
Source: Renewables U.K.

At 145 square kilometers, Walney overtakes another U.K. offshore wind farm, London Array, as the world’s largest. It uses less than half the number of turbines over a larger area to generate more power.

Orsted sold 50 percent of Walney to a group of Danish pension funds in November 2017. The U.K. currently operates 1,837 offshore wind turbines with an operational capacity of 7.1 gigawatts, according to trade association Renewable U.K.

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P