MHI Vestas Offshore Wind has installed the first of 40 if its V164-8.0 MW turbines and power is now being exported to the National Grid, marking an important milestone for the 659 MW project.
A further 47 Siemens Gamesa turbines will complete the 87-turbine wind farm, which once fully commissioned will leapfrog London Array to become the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm.
Andrew Cotterell, Walney Extension Programme Director at DONG Energy, said: “We are delighted to have passed such an important milestone for the project. Exporting first power to the grid on schedule is the culmination of extensive onshore and offshore works and is testament to the hard work of everyone involved. In general, construction is progressing well to bring this record-breaking project online.”
Construction of the project is being co-ordinated from a base at the Port of Barrow, which already hosts the operating and maintenance teams for three other DONG Energy offshore windfarms, Barrow, Walney and West of Duddon Sands.
DONG Energy has also set up a £15m community fund to support local projects and organisations. Each year, around £600,000 will be made available for the expected 25-year lifetime of the wind farm, with £100,000 of this ring-fenced for a ‘skills fund’ to promote education and support local students.
Walney is 100 per cent owned by DONG Energy and is located in the Irish Sea, approximately 19km from the coast in Cumbria.
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