Governments of various countries are looking for renewable energy sources to fulfill their electricity needs. Apart from solar and hydropower, a very efficient solution is to use the wind energy. The Walney Extension took the title of the world’s largest offshore wind farm on 6th September 2018. It covers an area of 145 sq. Km and has 87 wind turbines from MHI Vestas and Siemens Gamesa. The farm is located in the Irish Sea which is situated near the Walney Island, Cumbria. The operation of Walney Extension, UK, is capable of generating 659 Megawatts of energy. This is enough energy to supply power to 600,000 UK homes.
With the operation of these farms, UK has gained the position as the pioneers in the offshore wind farming. The Walney Extension contract was signed in 2014, and three significant proprietors worked together on the project to bring this dream into reality. It is owned jointly by Orsted, PFA, and PKA. It has become the 11th operational windfarm from Orsted in the UK. While talking about the UK’s overall wind energy conversion, it produces a total of 36% of the energy which is produced in the entire world. The London Array previously owned the title of the world’s largest offshore wind farm. It has a 630 Megawatt capability and 175 turbines.
Two different companies manufacturing 40 MHI Vestas 8MW turbines and 47 Siemens Gamesa 7MW turbines provided the 87 turbines in the Walney Extension. When they all work together, 659 MW of energy is generated which is much higher than the London Array even when the number of turbines is half. This shows how much the technology has progressed in the past few years. The turbines of today can generate 50% more energy than the turbines of the past. Mathew Wright, Orsted UK managing director said, “The UK is the global leader in offshore wind, and Walney Extension showcases the industry’s incredible success story. The project, completed on time and within budget, also marks another important step towards Orsted’s vision of a world that runs entirely on green energy.”
Many reports claim that the current title owned by Walney Extension won’t last very long since a new project named “East Anglia ONE” will soon become the leader in offshore wind farming. It is under construction in the Suffolk Coast of the southern North Sea, UK. The East Anglia One is expected to use 102 Siemens turbines that will be capable of creating 7 MW energy and will generate a total of 714 MW. The project will complete in 2020 and once it becomes operational, Walney Extension will handover its title to the successor. We are hoping to see another venture which will prove to be a competitor to East Anglia One. This means that we are trying to get more energy using renewable resources rather than depending on fossil fuels, which are depleting speedily.