Worlds Largest Wind Farm Flips The Switch

The worlds renewable energy possibility are endless when measured against mankind’s needs. Solar energy, wind energy, and Geo thermal energy are already being used on utility scale.

In England the world’s largest offshore wind farm turned on the switch recently. Located in the estuary of the one of England’s major rivers it showcases what the kind of British ingenuity that concord the world.

Wind turbines, solar energy and renewables in all it forms are where the world is heading. Recently we read where California’s big utilities are jumping in with both feet. Its all a good thing. Read More

Whopper of a wind farm opens off Britain MSNBC World’s largest offshore project has 100 utility scale wind turbines, so far.

LONDON — The world’s largest offshore wind farm had its grand opening Thursday and its location on the estuary of the Thames River makes it a showcase for Britain’s push to move beyond fossil fuels.

So far, 100 wind turbines have been planted in waters up to 80 feet deep across the estuary in southern England. The idea is to produce enough commercial utility scale electricity, 300 megawatts, to power the equivalent of 200,000 homes.

wind farm

Boater Shows Scale of Massive Wind Turbines

Each custom turbine is nearly as tall as a 40-story building and the blades are at least 65 feet above the water for clearance with vessels. No turbine is closer than 1,600 feet to another and the entire “farm” covers an area of 22 square miles. Up to 341 turbines will be installed over the next four years.

With Thursday’s opening, which tops a 91-turbine farm off Denmark, Britain now has more offshore commercial wind capacity than the rest of the world combined.

“We are in a unique position to become a world leader in this industry,” British Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said in a statement before he attended the grand opening. “We are an island nation and I firmly believe we should be harnessing our wind, wave and tidal resources to the maximum.”

Britain now gets three percent of its commercial electricity from renewables like wind and solar but aims to get 15 percent by 2020. As part of that, the government this year awarded licenses to wind farm developers in a program that could deliver up to 32 gigawatts of generation capacity and require investment of more than $117 billion.

Critics of the $1.4 billion wind farm include some nearby residents who object to the sight of the giant towers, some visible from shore. The farm starts about seven miles from shore.

Environmental groups tend to back wind power as long as projects are not in areas of significant bird flight paths. The new wind farm met that standard. It’s an “important stride forward,” said Craig Bennett of the British chapter of Friends of the Earth.

But the group also wants Britain to guarantee funding of at least $3 billion a year for the recently created and government-funded Green Investment Bank, which aims to boost private-sector spending on low-carbon technology.

“I know that there is still more to do to bring forward the large sums of investment we want to see in low-carbon utility scale energy in the U.K.,” Huhne said, “and we as government are committed to playing our part.”

One embarrassment to the government is that only 20 percent of the investment in the new wind farm has gone to British firms. The farm is owned and operated by Swedish energy company Vattenfall, and the largest chunk of expenditure has been to Denmark’s Vestas for the wind turbines.

Global interest in wind turbine technology

The promised vast expansion of Britain’s offshore wind resources is proving to be a powerful lure for companies not normally associated with renewables but keen to generate eco-friendly and reliable sources of revenue.

Engineers, consultants and oil rig makers around the world are setting up new renewable energy divisions and partnerships in order to get a foothold in the market, which offers secure returns to those building and running the wind turbines.