Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) has announced that the first phase of the £1bn ($1.6bn) Walney offshore wind farm, located in the Irish Sea, has entered operation.

A total of 51 turbines have completed commissioning tests, and SSE, which has a 25.1 percent stake in the venture, said this has added 46 MW to its total generation capacity.

SSE added that construction of the second phase is well under way, with 18 turbines already installed.

Colin Hood, SSE’s chief operating officer, said: “This is an important milestone in SSE’s programme of investment in large capital projects and a significant addition to the company’s asset base. With good progress being made on phase 2 of Walney, I am confident that the wind farm as a whole will be commissioned as planned next year.”

Danish utility group Dong Energy owns 50.1 percent of the project, and a consortium of pension and equity funds hold the remaining balance.

For more Wind Power news click here.