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World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm Opens in Thames Estuary
As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Great Britain was once completely reliant on fossil fuels, but that is rapidly changing. On Thursday, the world’s largest wind farm was opened in the Thames Estuary. The London Array, which is owned by Denmark’s DONG Energy, Abu Dhabi’s Madsar, and Germany’s E.On, boasts a 630 MW capacity which has the ability to power 470,000 homes. In addition to providing renewable energy to the grid, the project has the potential to save 925,000 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year.
After nearly 12 years in development, the London Array takes the title of world’s largest wind farm away from the 500MW Greater Gabbard site off of the East Anglian coast. The 175 Siemens 3.6 MW turbines contribute to an already robust offshore energy sector in Britain. Currently, the UK generates 3.6 GW of offshore electricity annually, but the figure is expected to climb 18 GW within the next ten years. Globally, the UK is the leader of offshore energy with 74 percent of the market, and future plans to develop the industry are now in development.
“This is a great day for Britain and a big win for renewable energy ” Prime Minister David Cameron said at the ribbon cutting ceremony this week. “London Array shows you can build large-scale renewable energy projects right here in Britain. This is because when it comes to clean energy, the UK has one of the clearest investment climates globally.”
The site took only two years to complete after the idea was introduced to the government back in 2000. It is an excellent example of how quickly infrastructure is able to move forward once political will is present. Formerly a economic empire, the UK now can look forward to wearing the crown as one of the globe’s renewable energy leaders.
Via The Guardian
Images via DONG Energy A/S.
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