Dong Energy reveal new wind farm plans

Dong Energy has announced plans to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea, off the Cumbrian coast.

The 660MW Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm will be approximately 19 kilometres off the coast of Cumbria and is expected to be fully commissioned in 2018.

When operational, the wind farm will be the biggest offshore wind farm in the world, surpassing the 630MW London Array Offshore Wind Farm, which was commissioned in 2014 by DONG Energy and its partners. 

The wind farm will be constructed and operated under the UK's EMR FID-enabling regime with a fixed price for the first 15 years of production. 

"Walney Extension will deliver clean electricity to more than 460,000 UK homes and I'm very glad that we can now start construction of what will be the world's biggest offshore wind farm when completed,” said Dong Energy Executive Vice President, Samuel Leupold.

“Building this offshore wind farm will bring us significantly closer to realising our strategy of having 6.5GW of installed capacity online by 2020." 

The company has decided to deploy two different turbines - 40 MHI Vestas Offshore Wind 8MW turbines and 47 Siemens 7MW offshore turbines. 

"A prerequisite for long-term growth in the industry is that offshore wind eventually can compete on costs with other energy technologies,” added Mr Leupold. 

“Building Walney Extension will bring us one step closer to that target and I'm satisfied to see that we keep bringing costs down, while continuing to expand the UK supply chain. I'm also excited about the fact that turbine blades, part of the foundations and cable installation will come from UK manufacturing facilities and create local jobs."

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues