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World’s largest offshore wind farm opens in Irish Sea

World’s largest offshore wind farm opens in Irish Sea
Copyright REUTERS/Phil Noble
Copyright REUTERS/Phil Noble
By Alice Cuddy
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The wind farm covers an area the size of about 20,000 football pitches.

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The world’s largest offshore wind farm opened on Thursday in the Irish Sea, covering an area equivalent to around 20,000 football pitches.

The Walney Extension, off the Cumbria coast, has a capacity of 659 megawatts — enough to power almost 600,000 homes.

The project is made up of 87 turbines built by Siemens Gamesa and MHI Vestas, each around 190 metres tall and spanning a total area of 145 square kilometres.

Danish energy firm Ørsted, which co-owns the project with Danish pension funds PFA and PKA, shared a video of the project on Twitter, writing: "What a day to celebrate the UK's offshore wind success."

“The UK is the global leader in offshore wind and Walney Extension showcases the industry’s incredible success story,” Ørsted UK Managing Director Matthew Wright said in a statement.

“The project, completed on time and within budget, also marks another important step towards Ørsted’s vision of a world that runs entirely on green energy,” he added.

The UK is the world’s largest offshore wind market, hosting 36% of globally installed offshore wind capacity, data from the Global Wind Energy Council shows.

The previous largest offshore wind farm was the London Array off England’s east coast, which has a capacity of 630 MW.

REUTERS/Phil Noble
A support vessel is seen next to a wind turbine at the Walney Extension offshore wind farm operated by Orsted off the coast of Blackpool, Britain September 5, 2018.REUTERS/Phil Noble
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