Ørsted has announced the opening of the 659MW Walney Extension offshore wind farm – currently the world’s largest. The site comprises 40 MHI Vestas 8MW wind turbines and 47 Siemens Gamesa 7MW wind turbines, covering an area of 145km2 in the Irish Sea.
Ørsted owns 50% of the wind farm with the remainder split between two Danish pension funds – PKA (25%) and PFA (25%). It is Ørsted’s 11th operational offshore wind farm in the UK.
Matthew Wright, Ørsted UK managing director, said: “The UK is the global leader in offshore wind and Walney Extension showcases the industry’s incredible success story. … The North-West region plays an important role in our UK offshore wind operations and our aim is to make a lasting and positive impact here. We want to ensure that the local community becomes an integral part of the renewable energy revolution that’s happening along its coastline.”
Construction of Walney Extension was co-ordinated from Ørsted’s West Coast Hub, at the Port of Barrow, which will now become home to the project’s operations and maintenance team. The West Coast Hub also services Ørsted’s Barrow, Walney and West of Duddon Sands wind farms, the four totalling 1.5GW. Ørsted’s ongoing operations and maintenance activities will support more than 250 direct jobs in the region.