World’s largest offshore wind farm ready to open in UK

Vattenfall's existing Horns Rev wind farm

The world’s largest offshore wind farm, Vattenfall’s Thanet facility off the UK’s Kent coast, is ready to go into operation later this month.

The Swedish generator’s 300 MW wind farm, which cost over £750 million to construct, houses 100 turbines able to generate enough electricity for over 200,000 homes.

The official launch will take place on 23 September with Vattenfall’s president and CEO, Øystein Løseth, and UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne.

Across the Atlantic in the US, Portland General Electric Company (PGE) has finished the final phase of its $1 billion 450 MW Biglow Canyon wind farm in northern Oregon.

Phase 1 of the development, which was completed in December 2007, comprised 76 Vestas turbines totalling 125 MW. Phase 2 added 65 Siemens turbines with a capacity of 150 MW. The last and final phase completed last month installed a further 76 Siemens turbines totalling 175 MW.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced funding of $3.4 million over two years to improve short-term wind forecasting.

Two projects will be carried out by AWS Truepower and WindLogics in collaboration with the DOE and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to gather atmospheric measurements over a wider area to allow better prediction of wind conditions.

Better forecasting allows utilities to connect to and use variable wind power more effectively with less need for back-up energy sources like natural gas or hydropower.

The DOE is also putting a further $1.8 million into the development and deployment of midsize wind turbines, typically used in community-scale renewable energy schemes by schools, farms, factories, private and public facilities.

Clean Green Energy, Northern Power Systems and Texas Tech University will work on designs for 200 kW, 450 kW and 500 kW turbines, respectively.

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Related stories:
Crack in Vestas new blade plan (10-Sept)
UK wind farms hit record 5% electricity supply (9-Sept)
Iberdrola wins contract for nine wind farms in Brazil (7-Sept)
Gust of new turbine orders for Siemens and Vestas (12-Aug)

14 September 2010