The 659MW Walney Extension offshore wind farm was officially opened on Thursday, 6 September, at a ceremony in Barrow in the north-west of England.
The project, owned by Ørsted (50%) and its partners, the Danish pension funds PKA (25%) and PFA (25%), will thus leapfrog the 630MW London Array to become the world’s largest operational wind farm.
Walney Extension features 40 MHI Vestas 8MW wind turbines and a further 47 Siemens Gamesa 7MW wind turbines installed across an area of 145km2 in the Irish Sea. The project becomes Ørsted’s 11th operational offshore wind farm in the UK.
Construction of Walney Extension was co-ordinated from Ørsted’s West Coast Hub, at the Port of Barrow, which will now become home to the project’s operations and maintenance team. The West Coast Hub also services three further Ørsted offshore wind farms, Barrow, Walney and West of Duddon Sands.
The completion of Walney Extension brings Ørsted’s total capacity operating out of Barrow up to 1.5GW. Ørsted’s ongoing operations and maintenance activities will support more than 250 direct jobs in the region, the company said.
“The UK is the global leader in offshore wind and Walney Extension showcases the industry’s incredible success story,” Matthew Wright, Ørsted UK Managing Director, said.
”The project, completed on time and within budget, also marks another important step towards Ørsted’s vision of a world that runs entirely on green energy. The North-West region plays an important role in our UK offshore wind operations and our aim is to make a lasting and positive impact here.”