The UK government has given the green light for the extension of the Walney offshore wind farm, already one of the largest in the world. This could mean that its current 102 turbines could more than double.
Dong Energy, which owns and runs the wind farm located of Walney Island in the Irish sea, said on Friday that it welcomed the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change’s decision to allow the Walney Extension project to go ahead.
The Rt.Hon. Edward Davey MP, at the recommendation of the Planning Inspectorate, approved the Development Consent Order (DCO). The consent covers the whole project including the turbines, onshore and offshore substations, array cables and export cable.
Dong Energy’s Vice President of UK Wind Power, Benj Sykes, said:
“Walney Extension is expected to have generation capacity of up to 660 megawatts, with the potential to power up to half a million homes, and this decision to grant development consent now clears the way for the company to make a final investment decision on the project.”
The Walney Extension offshore wind farm when complete will provide electricity for more than half-a-million homes. (Photo: Walney Extension Benefits)
“With consent also granted to the Burbo Bank Extension project recently, this really underlines our commitment to investing in the UK and helping us move towards a low carbon economy.”
The company says it will develop the Walney Extension with 6 – 8 megawatt turbines.
The project, which is located about 19 kilometers from the nearest coastline, not only has high wind potential but also challenging ground conditions.
According to Dong, an integrated energy company based in Fredericia, Denmark, the flexible consent will allow it “to use the most efficient solutions for the wind farm, supporting the drive to reduce the cost of electricity.”
The UK has become one of the most attractive countries in the world to invest in offshore wind energy. Experts forecast that by the end of this decade, wind energy will account for about 10% of the nation’s electricity requirements.