The completion of Sheringham Shoal off the north coast of Norfolk has taken the UK’s operational offshore wind energy capacity to over 2.5 GW.
The 317 MW wind farm developed by Norwegian companies’ Statoil and Statkraft joint venture Scira will produce enough power for some 220,000 homes.
The 35 km2 development is home to 88 turbines 80 m high with 52 m blades on monopile foundations sunk into the seabed. The development has two offshore substations and feeds power onshore via two 132 kW marine cables.
The wind farm was officially opened last Thursday by Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and the UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey, along with the CEOs of Statoil, Helge Lund, and Statkraft, Christian Rynning-Tønnesen.
“The completion of Sheringham Shoal is a milestone based on Statoil’s offshore experience and Statkraft’s competence as Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy,” commented Rynning-Tønnesen.
Davey adds that the new wind farm will provide a much needed boost to the economy, local jobs and the UK’s drive to expand its “home grown, clean, renewable energy capacity”.
Statoil and Statkraft, together with RWE and SSE, are also partners in the Forewind consortium, which plans to turn the Dogger Bank site 120 km off the UK coast into one of the world’s largest offshore wind developments.
The UK’s offshore wind capacity is now over 2.67 GW, according to the trade body RenewableUK, which is enough to power more than 1.8 million homes.
Thanks to the commissioning of three major developments – Vattenfall’s Ormonde wind farm off the Cumbrian coast and SSE and RWE npower renewables’ Greater Gabbard development off the Suffolk coast as well as Sheringham Shoal – the UK now makes up 60% of the European Union’s offshore wind capacity.
“This is a landmark month for the British offshore wind industry,” says RenewableUK’s chief executive Maria McCaffery. “It provides clear evidence of the extraordinary progress being made in this dynamic sector – the UK has more capacity installed offshore than the rest of the world put together, and we keep on extending that lead.”
For further information:
UK coal generation up 60% but renewables taking off (1-Oct)
Scotland on track for best renewables year yet (27-Sept)
UK’s onshore wind capacity hits 5 GW milestone (24-Sept)
UK wind power sets new record high of 4 GW (14-Sept)
01 October 2012