Sustainable Energy

'Pioneering' offshore windfarm set to open later today

DONG Energy

A large windfarm off the coast of Liverpool Bay is set to be officially opened later today.

According to DONG Energy, the Burbo Bank Extension is the world's first offshore wind farm to make commercial use of the huge MHI-Vestas V164-8.0 MW wind turbines.

The scale of the turbines is considerable. According to MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, the turbine has 80 meter blades – equivalent to nine double decker London buses – weighing 35 tonnes each.

In a statement on Wednesday, DONG Energy said that just one of the turbines could produce more energy than Vindeby, the world's first offshore windfarm. The Burbo Bank Extension has the capability to meet the electricity demand of more than 230,000 homes, DONG Energy added.

The project is a joint venture between DONG Energy, which has a 50 percent interest, as well as PKA and KIRKBI A/S, who each have a 25 percent interest. KIRKBI A/S is the parent company of the LEGO Group.

In a statement on Wednesday, DONG Energy's chief executive, Henrik Poulsen, said that the Burbo Bank Extension was showcasing "the rapid innovation in the offshore wind industry."

"Less than ten years ago at Burbo Bank, we were the first to install Siemens 3.6MW wind turbines and in this short time, the wind turbines have more than doubled in capacity," Poulsen added.

"Pushing innovation in this way reduces the cost of electricity from offshore wind and will help to advance the offshore wind industry across the world."

Steve Rotheram, metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said that the offshore wind industry had "a huge contribution to make to the growing UK-based supply chain, and utilizing our renewable energy sources is vital to ensuring the Liverpool City Region cements its position as a low carbon leader."

The potential for wind in the United Kingdom is significant. According to RenewableUK, the U.K. is Europe's windiest country and could power itself "several times over" with wind.

Commenting on the Burbo Bank Extension, RenewableUK's executive director, Emma Pinchbeck, described it as "game-changing" and a "testament to the offshore wind industry's strong commitment to relentless innovation."