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The first phase of the London Array, the world’s largest offshore windfarm, has started to produce electricity for the first time.
The project will see 175 turbines installed 12 miles off the coast of Kent and Essex, providing a capacity of 630 megawatts, enough to supply power to more than 470,000 homes. So far 151 turbines have been successfully installed since construction began in March 2011.
The second phase will increase that capacity to 870MW, although the plans have had to be resubmitted after the first set were deemed to cover too large an area and could have had a negative impact on local birdlife.
Benj Sykes, the wind UK country manager at Dong Energy, the largest investor in the project, said that “being able to efficiently develop large offshore windfarms and harvest the scale advantages in both construction and operation is an important element in our continuous efforts to bring down the costs of energy of offshore wind.”
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The second largest stake in the project is owned by E.ON, and Tony Cocker the CEO, commented that “we firmly believe that electricity from renewable sources has a vital part to play in helping us deliver energy in a way that is sustainable, affordable and secure and this is why we are aiming to reduce the costs of offshore wind by 40% by 2015.”
The London Array is owned by Dong Energy (50%), E.ON (30%), and Masdar of Abu Dhabi (20%).
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com