With over 100 turbines generating power for around 320,000 homes, the Walney project is regarded as the world's biggest offshore wind farm. It will be officially launched on Thursday, by the British government.
The launch will reportedly mark the start of a £33 billion push to expand sea-based generation of electricity by more than 10-fold by the end of the decade.
The new energy secretary, Ed Davey, a Member of Parliament and a Liberal Democrat, will officially open the farm that is located approximately 15km from the coastline of Walney Island. The project by the Walney (UK) Offshore Windfarms Ltd. constructed the farm in two phases.
Each phase consists of 51 turbines with a total capacity of 367.2 MegaWatts. The development includes foundations, turbines, export- and array cables, offshore substations and onshore connection to grid.
"Britain has a lot to be proud of in our growing offshore wind sector. Our island's tremendous natural resource, our research base and a proud history of engineering make this the No 1 destination for investment in offshore wind. And Walney is the newest, biggest and fastest-built jewel in that crown, providing clean power for hundreds of thousands of households. Opening Walney during my first week in office lets me underline my commitment to continuing the coalition's work to make this sector a success story for the British economy, not least with the innovation it is driving and the employment it is creating," the Guardian UK quoted Davey as saying.
In order to meet rising demands without adding to the emissions, the UK plans to increase capacity from a current 1500 MegaWatts of offshore wind to 18,000 MegaWatts by 2020.
The Daily Mail reports the government as saying that more than £110 billion is needed by then, to replace aging power plants, upgrades the grid and build renewable-energy projects.
The company mentions that the Barrow-in-Furness Town Hall will be the gravitation point for the inauguration of the wind farm. They also claim the second part of the scheme was the quickest-built of its kind. Walney 2 reportedly came on-stream on Nov. 1 and was installed within only 5 months and 13 days.