World's largest offshore wind farm to be built in the UK

When the UK government began pulling subsidies for onshore wind farms, it meant that private companies dedicated to harvesting renewable energy would no longer receive financial kickbacks when they sold their electricity to energy suppliers. The decision could have affected the UK's total wind-collecting footprint, but offshore wind farms have remained exempt, allowing companies like Dong -- Denmark's largest energy company -- to commit to new, massive installations in British waters. The company announced it is to build the world's biggest offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea, around 19 kilometres off the coast of Cumbria.

Dong says it has completed all of the necessary paperwork for its 660-megawatt Walney Extension project and expects it to open in 2018. The company will rely on turbines built by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind and Siemens, allowing it to surpass the current record-holder, the 630-megawatt London Array, which is another Dong installation. When the Walney Extension goes live, Dong will contribute 5,089 megawatts of offshore wind energy to UK and German infrastructure, enough to cover the needs of more than 12.5 million people.

[Image credit: NHD-INFO, Flickr]