The opening ceremony took place at sea with the CEO and President of Vattenfall, Øystein Løseth, and the British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne MP, among the participants. The £900 million Thanet project has 100, 3MW Vestas V90 turbines and actually started generating electricity in May 2010. Construction on the 300MW scheme started at the end of 2008.
Pointing out that Thanet Offshore Wind Farm’s 300 megawatts (MW) will take UK installed wind power capacity across the 5GW line, Rt. Hon. Chris Huhne MP hailed Vattenfall’s engineering achievement and praised the energy company’s commitment to wind power in the UK: "We are in a unique position to become a world leader in this industry. We are an island nation and I firmly believe we should be harnessing our wind, wave and tidal resources to the maximum. I know that there is still more to do to bring forward the large sums of investment we want to see in low-carbon energy in the UK, and we as Government are committed to playing our part”.
In addition to Thanet officially coming on line today, the expansion of Fred.Olsen Renewables’ Crystal Rig 200MW onshore wind farm in the Scottish Borders in early September helped propell the UK through the 5GW barrier.
- The Thanet Wind Farm is the largest operational wind farm in the world;
- The Thanet Wind Farm is located in water depths of 20-25 meters and cover an area of 35 km2 which is equal to 4,000 football fields;
- Each turbine is up to 115 meters tall at its highest point, with a minimum clearance above sea level of 22 meters;
- The nearest turbine is located approximately 12 km northeast of Foreness Point;
- Thanet Wind Farm consists of 100 Vestas V90 wind turbines;
- The distance between the turbines is approximately 500 meters along rows and 800 meters between rows;
- The total investment for the Thanet Wind Farm is around £880 million.
Vattenfall is one of the biggest wind power operators in Britain and is the fifth largest energy producer in Europe. Vattenfall acquired the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm project in November 2008. Between 2009 and 2011, Vattenfall says it will double its wind power electricity generation, constructing 9 wind farms in 6 countries.