Sustainable Energy

Prince Charles to officially open one of the world's biggest offshore wind farms

Key Points
  • Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm can produce enough energy to power 450,000 homes per year. 
  • Europe is home to some of the world's most ambitious offshore wind energy projects.
The project is located off the coast of north Scotland.

Prince Charles will officially open Scotland's biggest offshore wind farm later Monday.

The fourth largest wind farm on the planet, Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm is located 13 kilometers (8.1 miles) off the Caithness coast in the north of Scotland.

It has 84 turbines and will produce enough renewable energy to power 450,000 homes annually, according to energy firm SSE.

SSE has a 40% share of the Beatrice project. Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Red Rock Power Limited have shares of 35% and 25% respectively.

By 2030, the Scottish government says it wants to produce half of the country's energy consumption from renewables. It is also targeting an "almost completely" decarbonized energy system by 2050.

Wind turbines in Scotland generated 9,831,320 megawatt hours between January and June 2019, according to WWF Scotland. 

The numbers, which were supplied by WeatherEnergy, mean that Scottish wind generated enough electricity to power the equivalent of 4.47 million homes for six months. That is almost double the number of homes in Scotland, WWF Scotland says.

As a whole, Europe is home to some of the world's most ambitious wind energy projects. September 2018, for example, saw the official opening of the Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm in the Irish Sea.

With a total capacity of 659 MW, it's currently the world's largest operational offshore wind farm and capable of powering nearly 600,000 homes in the U.K., according to Danish energy business Orsted.