U.K. Wind Farm Rising In Record Speed

The Danish company DONG Energy is claiming a record with its progress on the Walney 2 offshore wind plant in the Irish Sea. The company said the first power from the site was now surging onto the U.K. grid, just eight months after work on the project began, making it “the world’s fastest ever installation of an offshore wind farm.”

The Walney 2 project isn’t completed, but DONG said it would be before the end of the year, at which point the combined Walney complex – Walney 1 was finished in May – would become the world’s largest offshore wind power plant, with a total capacity of 367.2 megawatts (MW). The current leader in that category is the 300-MW Thanet Wind Farm, also in U.K. waters.

Walney 2 wind farm, DONG Energy

image via DONG Energy

DONG said getting the work done fast was vital to getting the work done less expensively. “We developed our techniques for faster and more cost efficient installation methods in the challenging conditions in the Irish Sea,” Anders Eldrup, CEO at DONG Energy, said in a statement. “This is an important step in the continuing drive to reduce the cost of construction of offshore wind farms.”

When the 51 turbines of Walney 2 are all operating, the 102-turbine Walney plant will produce enough energy to power around 320,000 U.K. homes, DONG said.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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