This wind farm has turbines that are 640 feet tall with 262 foot long blades built by Dong Energy. These turbines are bigger than some skyscrapers (Image via MHI Vestas)
The world’s largest wind farm is now up and running in the UK. The 32 huge turbines built by Danish company Dong Energy are housed in Liverpool Bay. The turbines boast a greater height than some skyscrapers standing at 640 feet tall and equipped with 262-foot long blades, which can produce eight megawatts of power. This is actually the first time 8MW turbines have been used for commercial purposes. Their power is supposed to be so great the company claims a single revolution of the blade can power one house for 29 hours.
The 32 new turbines are an extension of the Burbo Bank wind farm that was built over a decade ago. This latest addition makes Britain a world leader in wind farm technology. Because of subsidies, friendly regulation, and their maritime past, the UK have installed more offshore wind power than any other country in the world. This latest addition along with their existing structures give them the capacity of 5.3 GW, that’s enough electricity to power 4.3 million homes. And it doesn’t stop here; there are eight more projects in the works.
But to keep receiving support for the tech from the government, the industry has to keep cutting costs. This in part is why Dong Energy opted to build such large turbines. You would think the cost to maintain these things would be high considering how big they are. Believe it or not, these large turbines are cheaper to build and maintain since each tower and blade needs a foundation. In the end, it’s cheaper than maintaining lots of small turbines. The company hopes this leads to offshore wind power that’s bigger, better, and cheaper than before.
These wind turbines greatly benefit the UK, but they’ve still come under fire for not having enough parts made in Britain. Dong Energy doesn’t exactly help matters; they don’t reveal what how much of the Burbo Bank extension is UK built. Fortunately, half of the blades are made at MHI Vesta’s Isle of Wight factory. On the other hand, these farms create new jobs and offer residents a long term career.
Still, you can’t argue with results, and the UK seems pretty pleased overall. There are more wind turbine projects scheduled for the future; these will also use 8MW turbines. It seems the UK is set on keeping its reputation as a world leader in windfarm technology. They’re certainly ahead of the US, which recently installed its first offshore wind farm.
On – 25 May, 2017 By Cabe Atwell