RenewableUK Welcomes Inauguration of World’s Largest OWF
RenewableUK has welcomed today’s ringing endorsement of offshore wind energy by the Prime Minister David Cameron.
Speaking at the official opening of the world’s largest offshore wind farm, London Array, David Cameron paid tribute to the UK’s offshore wind industry, saying: “This is a great day for Britain and a big win for renewable energy. 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”.
London Array, situated in the outer Thames Estuary, 20km from the coasts of Kent and Essex, went fully operational in April, with all 175 turbines generating clean electricity. The 630 megawatt project has the capacity to power nearly half a million homes – equivalent to two-thirds of the homes in Kent, saving 900,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.
Speaking at the opening, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery, said:
“The Prime Minister’s ringing endorsement of Britain’s offshore wind industry is a real boost for the entire renewable energy sector, which is a key growth area for the British economy. London Array is a magnificent feat of green engineering in a field in which Britain is the global leader, as we have more offshore wind capacity installed than the rest of the world put together.
“We’re about to witness a massive expansion in the number of people we employ in the wind industry onshore and offshore, from about 12,000 now to 76,000 by the dawn of the next decade, as long as Government remains supportive – today Mr Cameron has assured us that it will”.
“Such a strong signal from the very top of our political establishment will help to put an end to the siren calls from the naysayers who’ve failed to appreciate the scale of the opportunity Britain has here. We need to maintain our pole position in offshore wind energy to reap the full economic and environmental benefits”.
London Array is just one of a number of landmark British offshore wind projects. At the end of March, the 75th and final turbine was installed at Lincs offshore wind farm. The 270MW project off the coast of Skegness has the capacity to power more than 200,000 homes.
Other massive projects are also coming to fruition in UK waters, such as Teesside, Gwynt y Mor off the coast of North Wales and West Of Duddon Sands off the north west coast of England. At Gunfleet Sands, off the Essex coast, the next generation of even more powerful offshore turbines is being tested in the water for the first time anywhere in the world.
Press release, July 4, 2013; Image: renewableuk