The UK opened the world’s biggest offshore wind farm on Thursday, with Energy Secretary Ed Davey inaugurating the 367-megawatt project located in the Irish Sea off Britain’s Cumbrian coast.
The companies behind the $1.58 billion Walney wind farm say it will supply up to 320,000 households with renewable power every year, Reuters reported.
It is a joint venture between utilities DONG Energy, SSE and OPW, a consortium of Dutch pension fund service provider PGGM and Ampere Equity Fund.
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The initiative marks the start of $52 billion drive to expand sea-based energy generation more than 10-fold by the end of the decade, according to Bloomberg.
Walney’s 102 Siemens turbines were installed in a record five months as part of the government’s push to establish the UK as the global leader in international wind, the Daily Telegraph reported.
It was the first UK offshore wind farm to secure investment from a pension fund service provider and an equity fund before it had been constructed.
Britain plans to boost capacity to 18,000 megawatts by 2020 to meet increasing demand for energy and EU renewables targets and to cut its emissions 34 percent from 1990.
Speaking at the opening ceremony in Barrow-in-Furness, Davey said: “Offshore wind can make a real contribution to our renewable energy target. The government wants this country to be a leader in the renewable sector. It is great news for our economy in terms of jobs that we create and export.”
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