The world’s largest wind farm, dubbed the London Array, has been given the go-ahead after months of doubt caused by Shell pulling out of the project. The project, funded by E.ON, Dong Energy, and Masdar, is back on thanks
to changes in the U.K.’s budget that have increased incentives for
offshore wind farms. Once completed, the U.K-based 341-turbine array, located in the Thames Estuary, will produce up to 1,000 MW of electricity. That’s enough to power a quarter of all homes in the greater London area.
Construction on the farm, expected to save 1.9 million tons of CO2 yearly, will begin in 2011 with 175 turbines located 12 miles off the coast of Kent and Essex. This first stage is expected to produce 630 MW of electricity and cost $3 billion. When it’s completed in 2012, the London Array will be over six times larger than the next biggest off-shore wind park, a 160MW array located in Denmark. It will also be larger than the world’s largest onshore wind farm, a 780MW array in Texas.
The London Array is only a small part of Britain’s plan to generate 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Much of that energy will likely come from wind farms, both land-based and offshore.