UK one step closer to renewable energy

By - World Infrastructure Journal

The Yorkshire coast is soon to be home to the world’s largest windfarm, boosting the Government’s ambitions to make the UK a world leader in wind power.

Developers SSE and Equinor have secured £5.5bn of financing towards the massive scheme, which will generate enough clean electricity to power six million UK homes when it is fully operational.

The deal will fund the development of the first two phases of the project, with those turbines set to be producing electricity by 2024. A third stage and final section of the project is set to reach financial close next year, bringing the entire project to completion by 2026.

“This investment will help drive a green recovery from coronavirus through the project’s construction over the next five years, creating jobs and boosting the local economy,” said SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies. “Achieving financial close for the first two phases of the world’s largest wind farm is a huge accomplishment. ” 

Electricity from the wind farm is anticipated to be the cheapest power on the market. In government auctions last year, the first two tranches of the scheme priced their power at below wholesale market rates, underscoring the dramatic cost reduction in recent history.

Cheaper wind power has been made possible in part by the invention of super-sized turbines. The farm off the coast of Yorkshire will be the first to feature the 13MW GE Haliade-X, the largest wind turbine in the world. One rotation of this giant turbine generates enough electricity to power a standard British home for two days.

This new wind farm boosts hope for the Government to meet its target to quadruple the UK’s current offshore wind capacity by 2030. That would generate enough power for every single home in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last month.

RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Melanie Onn said: “This multi-billion-pound investment in vital new energy infrastructure is proof positive that the green economic recovery which politicians from all parties are is calling for is already a reality. It consolidates the UK’s position as the global leader in offshore wind, with more capacity installed than any other country and a far bigger pipeline of projects for the future than anyone else”.

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