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New Hornsea 1.2GW wind farm off Yorkshire coast will help power up to 1 million homes

Posted by Anna Carlini on 8 February 2016 at 9:50 am

The Yorkshire coast is preparing to host the world’s largest off-shore windfarm after the deal made with Danish energy giant DONG. The project is unprecedented in size and cements the UK’s presence at the forefront of offshore technology.

The present first and second largest offshore windfarms also lie off our shoreline. The London array, the bigger of the two, generates 630MW whereas this new Hornsea project will have almost twice that capacity with 1.2GW.

Amber Rudd, Energy and Climate Change Secretary has hailed the deal : "a vote of confidence in the UK”. The project is a sign of UK commitment to offshore wind and to the carbon-cutting targets agreed upon at the Paris COP21. The completion of the project is expected for 2020, coincidentally the year that these binding targets must be met.

174 turbines, each standing at 623ft high, will cover an area the size of more than 58,000 football pitches. At 120 km from the coast, the farm will provide for the electricity needs of up to one million homes. The project will stimulate the local economy; creating 1000-2000 jobs in the construction of the farm, and a further 300 for maintenance over its lifetime. Many of the turbines will be built in Hull in a factory owned by Siemens.

In spite of retreating government support for onshore wind, the National Grid's latest report (see p16) predicts 11.9% of electricity this winter will come from wind - beating the 9% expected from nuclear. This impressive figure will be bolstered by this new provision.

The deal comes at a time when UK renewables and energy efficiency have taken a blow from recent policy changes, and so serves as welcome reassurance of commitment to offshore wind power and new momentum for renewables in Britain.

The scale of this project is unparalleled. It may only be one step towards meeting the Paris agreements, but as Rudd said, it will help to “build an energy infrastructure fit for the 21st century”.

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1 comments - read them below or add one

Tom Gardener

Tom GardenerComment left on: 8 February 2016 at 12:33 pm

Wind farms as a renewable energy source obviously are a trendy choice among western countries, but there is more to it. Pictured as environmentally friendly, because of the carbon emissions, it may not be such. Wind mills annually kills thousands of birds, some of which vital to the environment and pollination of rare tree species, which actually leads to a decrease of carbon recycling by the nature. Some countries start programs to encourage home gardens and roof gardens as a mean to reduce the carbon emissions in big cities. Selfsustainable homes and office building are also on the plan. Sci-fi movies have been on that theme for a while - maybe is time for us to really think about it. The investment is big, but worth it.

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