The world’s largest operational offshore wind farm, Walney Extension, was officially opened on Sept. 6 at a ceremony in Barrow in northwest England.
Located approximately 95 kilometers from the Walney Island coast in Cumbria, the 659 MW project is owned by Ørsted (50%) and its partners, Danish pension funds PKA (25%) and PFA (25%). It surpasses the London Array to become the world’s largest operational wind farm, according to Ørsted.
Walney Extension’s 87 wind turbines – 40 MHI Vestas 8 MW and 47 Siemens Gamesa 7 MW models – can generate enough clean energy to power almost 600,000 U.K. homes. More than 200 kilometers of cables were used to connect the turbines to the grid onshore. The project features two offshore substations, each weighing 4,000 metric tons.
Covering an area of 145 square kilometers in the Irish Sea, the project is Ørsted’s 11th operational offshore wind farm in the U.K. The construction was coordinated from Ørsted’s West Coast hub, located at the Port of Barrow, which will now become home to the project’s operations and maintenance team. The hub also services three other Ørsted offshore wind farms: Barrow, Walney and West of Duddon Sands.
“The U.K. is the global leader in offshore wind, and Walney Extension showcases the industry’s incredible success story,” comments Matthew Wright, Ørsted’s U.K. managing director.