The London Array has officially become the largest wind farm in the world after recently installing its last turbine and switching online. The wind farm which is made up of 175 turbines with the capacity to provide power from Margate to Essex is situated in the Thames Estuary.
A collaboration between Masdar, EON and Dong Energy own the facility which now has its first phase of 630 MW capacity from 141 turbines now fully operational.
London can already boast of Blackfriars’ solar bridge being the largest of its kind in the world but now has Kent’s London Array adding up to its world-beating renewable energy push.
Construction on the London Array started in March 2011, with the first turbine powering up about six months ago. The remaining Siemens 3.6 MW turbines have all followed suit with the whole wind farm now operational and generating energy for the grid.
Apart from generating power for the grid, the London Array will also be studied as a template for future large scale wind farms, especially in terms of lower costs. DONG Energy are aiming at putting up wind farms that generate energy at a rate of $152 per MWh by 2020.
Phase Two of the project involves switching on the 34 remaining turbines and burying the left over cables as well. It is expected that the first phase alone will power about 500,000 homes each year, saving just under a million tonnes of carbon emissions each year.