The world’s largest operational offshore wind farm, Walney Extension, officially opened this month. The project is owned by Ørsted (50%) and its partners PFA and PKA (25% each). It is the first project to use wind turbines from two different manufacturers.
The 659-MW project leapfrogs London Array to become the world’s largest operational wind farm. Walney Extension’s 87 wind turbines can generate enough green energy to power almost 600,000 UK homes. Covering an area of 145km2 in the Irish Sea, the project becomes Ørsted’s 11th operational offshore wind farm in the UK.
Using the latest technology from two of the world’s leading turbine manufacturers, Walney Extension features 40 MHI Vestas 8-MW wind turbines and a further 47 Siemens Gamesa 7-MW wind turbines.
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 (i.e. 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 UK is the global leader in offshore wind and Walney Extension showcases the industry’s incredible success story,” said Matthew Wright, Ørsted UK Managing Director. “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.”
He added: “We want to ensure that the local community becomes an integral part of the renewable energy revolution that’s happening along its coastline.”