A UK wind farm that will become the biggest in the world once its completed later this year will reportedly start supplying power to the country’s electricity grid as of this week.
The wind farm, Hornsea One off the Yorkshire coast, is huge. In fact it’s so big that it’ll be about twice the size of the world’s current largest offshore wind farm — the Walney Extension wind farm in the Irish Sea.
Once it’s completed, the farm will cover 407 square kilometres — about five times the size of Hull — and capacity-wise, according to the Guardian, it will be able to generate enough power for a million homes.
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Meanwhile, the 7MW turbines being used for the first two phases of the Hornsea development project are taller than the Gherkin building in London.
“The ability to generate clean electricity offshore at this scale is a globally significant milestone at a time when urgent action needs to be taken to tackle climate change,” Matthew Wright, UK managing director of Ørsted, told the Guardian.
Danish developer Ørsted, the world’s biggest offshore wind farm builder, is behind the project — and it’s reportedly hoped that the development will bring the offshore wind power sector in line with fossil fuel-fired power stations.
While this is the first of four planned power stations in the area, the later developments are even more ambitious. The later phases of the development could see even bigger turbines, according to the Guardian, of 10MW or more — which are about as tall as the Shard in London.
According to Ørsted’s chief executive, Henrik Poulsen, the UK could “power most of Europe if it went to the extreme with offshore.”
Meanwhile, according to industry body RenewableUK, Friday (February 8) saw a new record for wind generation in the UK — delivering 36% of UK electricity demand.
“At one of the coldest times of the year, when we need it most, wind is generating over a third of Britain’s power needs, setting a new clean energy record,” said Emma Pinchbeck, RenewableUK’s executive director.
“It’s yet another demonstration of how our energy mix is shifting to renewables, with onshore and offshore wind in the vanguard,” she added.
The national plan is to have a third of the UK’s energy needs supplied by 2030 — and currently, the UK controls 36% of the world’s offshore wind capacity, according to data from the Global Wind Energy Council 2018.