The London Array Wind Farm – is the largest offshore wind farm in the world.
The London Array Wind Farm offshore substation construction and installation.
Have you ever wondered what goes into the building of Wind Farms?
Watch this video for an insight into the amazing feats of engineering required to build the London array wind farm, it is quite astonishing to see for yourself how these projects come together.
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If you enjoyed the video and it whetted your appetite to learn more about wind turbine energy read this very informative article I found in the Telegraph, details for the full article are at the bottom of the post.
The London Array: the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
As Britain strives to meet European renewable energy targets, the world’s largest offshore wind farm is rising from the waves off the coasts of Kent and Essex.
When the first phase of the London Array wind farm is complete by the end of this year, it will generate 630 megawatts of electricity – enough power for more than 470,000 homes, or two thirds of the homes in Kent.
Onshore wind farms, heavily criticised for their visual impact on the landscape, have generated a great deal of vocal opposition in recent years. In 2010 32 out of 66 applications for onshore wind farms were rejected. Offshore wind power, however, is expanding rapidly. Britain’s first offshore wind farm, near Blyth in Northumberland, opened in 2000, and since then another 14 farms (about 570 turbines and counting) have been built around the country, including three others in the Thames Estuary between the Kent and Essex coasts. Another six are under construction; and a further seven have planning approval.
So far, Britain has made slow progress towards the goal set by the European Union of generating 15 per cent of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, and towards the target mandated in the Climate Change Act of 2008 of cutting carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Yet the government believes our reserves of wind, wave and tidal power will enable us to meet them. It estimates that offshore wind alone could meet Britain’s current demand for electricity 10 times over, and environmental campaigners are urging the government to make the most of its potential.
‘Forty years ago, we were discovering North Sea oil, and now, as we find ourselves on the cusp of a technological revolution, we are sitting on the most fabulous resource once again,’ Andrew Pendleton of Friends of the Earth told me. ‘It would be a tragedy if we didn’t exploit it.’
The first turbine in the London Array was installed in January this year, and another 90 have been added since then. The 175 turbines that will make up the 630-megawatt capacity of the first of two phases are due to be in place by the end of the year, and Stephen Reynolds, London Array’s offshore site manager, was pleased by the way the work was progressing.
The local fishermen, who fish the Thames Estuary for Dover sole and other catches, have less reason to welcome the wind farms. Merlin Jackson, the treasurer of Thanet Fisherman’s Association, which represents about 30 vessels from Ramsgate and other harbours in the area, said that some fishermen were concerned by the loss of their traditional fishing grounds. ‘Fishermen and wind farms seem to like the same places,’ he said. ‘We both like shallower areas, nice and close to the shore.
Other regions, including the North West and the North East of England, are keeping an eye on events in the Thames Estuary, having expressed similar ambitions themselves. There is a cluster of wind farms in the Irish Sea, including Walney, which is currently the largest in the world, with a capacity of 367 megawatts, and a group of the North East’s leading energy companies have invested £400 million in an attempt to make the region a hub for offshore renewable energy.
Environmental considerations are another constraint: the number of turbines in phase one was reduced from 258 to 175 in order to protect a population of red-throated divers in the Thames Estuary,
The RSPB regards the harnessing of offshore wind as essential in the fight against climate change, but is also determined ‘to protect important marine sites from adverse development impacts’. Earlier this month, an application to build a 540-megawatt wind farm at Docking Shoal, near the Lincolnshire and north Norfolk coasts, was refused because the potential impact on Sandwich tern seabirds in the Wash. It is not only birds whose welfare is an issue: the developers deploy ‘marine mammal observers’ to patrol the site. When the turbines’ foundations are drilled into the seabed using a hydraulic hammer, the resulting high levels of underwater sound can be harmful to wildlife in the vicinity.
Andrew Pendleton maintains that, in the long run, offshore wind will be cheap as well as clean. ‘The wind industry is an unrivalled opportunity for UK plc,’ he says. ‘There is a genuine opportunity for us to be at the forefront of some very exciting 21st-century industries.’
Full article at… The Telegraph