The world’s largest operational offshore wind farm, London Array, has set a new record for the amount of clean electricity produced by an offshore project in a single calendar month.
December 2015 saw its 175 turbines generate 369,000 MWh of electricity – considerably above target and well above the previous best of 317,000 MWh set last November. The capacity factor for the month, which saw average wind speeds of 11.9 m/s (27 mph), was 78.9%.
“Both the monthly and annual figures are excellent results for London Array and show the contribution we are making to the country’s energy supply as well as the UK’s renewable energy targets,” said Jonathan Duffy, General Manager of London Array. “Above average winds this winter have helped push production higher but that is only part of the story: we have a great team of people who support the operation and maintenance of the wind farm.”
London Array Limited is owned by a consortium of three world-leading renewable energy companies: E.ON (30%), DONG Energy (25%), Masdar (20%), and La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (25%), a global investor and one of the largest institutional fund managers in Canada and North America. Their combined experience and expertise help ensure the continuing success of the wind farm.
“We have pushed very hard over the past year to build on our earlier successes and develop our approach to turbine maintenance and repair,” added Duffy. “Together with key contractors DONG Energy and Siemens, we have focused on operational efficiency and expanding the amount of time our technicians are able to work offshore. This has helped ensure we extracted the maximum power from the wind and kept turbine availability above 98% over the winter.
He added that the wind farm’s performance is also good news for the environment. It helped prevent the release of some 1,075,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2015.