The development has been under construction since March 2011 and 152 of the 175 turbines have now been installed, with construction on schedule to be finished by the end of the year. The turbines will produce enough power to supply over 470,000 UK homes with electricity, according to the project partners - DONG Energy, E.ON and Masdar.
“With its 630 MW the London Array project will be the first of the next generation of larger offshore wind farms and we are pleased to have reached first power” said Benj Sykes, Wind UK Country Manager at DONG Energy. “Being able to efficiently develop large offshore wind farms and harvest the scale advantages in both construction and operation is an important element in our continuous efforts to bring down costs of energy of offshore wind.”
London Array is being built around 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex. The wind farm will be installed on a 245km2 site and will be built in two phases. Phase One will cover 90km2and include 175 turbines with a combined capacity of 630MW. The consortium plans to complete the first phase by the end of 2012. If approved, the second phase will add enough capacity to bring the total to 870MW.
“This is not only a very important milestone for the London Array development but also a major landmark for the global renewables sector” said Dr. Tony Cocker, CEO of E.ON UK. “We firmly believe that electricity from renewable sources has a vital part to play in helping us to deliver energy in a way that is sustainable, affordable and secure and this is why we are aiming to reduce the costs of offshore wind by 40% by 2015.”
Masdar entered into the London Array scheme when it purchased 40% of E.ON's half share of the London Array scheme, giving the company a 20% stake in the project overall. The London Array investment is part of Masdar's global alternative energy strategy which includes solar, wind and other renewable technologies.