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World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Now Online

The largest offshore wind farm in the world, the London Array, is now online and sending 507 MW of electricity to the grid for homes and businesses in the UK.

The London Array design calls for 175 3.6MW Siemens wind turbines to be installed in the outer Thames Estuary, producing 630 MW, and 141 of them are now up and spinning.

The project has a 50 year lease on the site (and a cable route to shore), thanks to the Crown Estate, and is intended to continue to produce clean, renewable energy for a long time.

Phase One of the project, which sits 20 km offshore, between the Kent and Essex coasts, covers and area of about 100 km2.

The wind turbines feed two offshore substations and then one onshore substation, with nearly 450 km of cabling installed.

The turbines, from Siemens Wind Power, feature 120m three-bladed rotors, have a capacity of 3.6MW each, and the turbine’s hub height sits 87m above the surface of the ocean. According to London Array, the turbines begin to generate electricity at wind speeds of about 3 m/s (7 mph), and reach optimum production at 13m/s (29mph).

The London Array will provide enough electricity to power half a million homes each year, with a CO2 savings of 925,000 tonnes a year. A possible second phase could add more capacity to the project, and bring the total electricity production up to 870MW.

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