Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Shell WindEnergy Plans World's Largest Wind Farm Supplying 25% of London Homes' Electricity

Plans have been submitted to build one of the world's largest wind farms, which could generate enough electricity to supply a quarter of London homes.

The £1.5bn ($2.73 billion US dollars) London Array wind farm could see 270 wind turbines over 152 square miles in the Greater Thames Estuary.

London Array Limited won the right to lease an offshore wind farm site between the Essex and Kent coasts in December 2003 but has just applied to the government and local planning authorities for permission to develop the area.

The off-shore wind farm, which could produce up to 1,000 megawatts (one gigawatt) of renewable wind energy, would be built 12 miles off shore by 2011.

The consortium says it would not be an eyesore, because it is so far out, and says it will would mean 1.9m tonnes less carbon dioxide each year.

Jason Scagell, of E.ON UK Renewables - part of the London Array Consortium along with Shell WindEnergy and CORE Limited - said they wanted to reduce carbon emissions.

He said: "It's only through building more powerful wind farm sites such as this that we'll be able to reach the government's tough targets for renewable generation."

The development is a joint venture between energy giants Shell and E.On and an Anglo-Danish company, Core. Erik Kjaer Sorenson, director of Core, said: "This project will supply the equivalent of a quarter of London's domestic load and will surely, once and for all, bury the myth that wind energy is insignificant.

"Furthermore, it is merely the first of a number of similar-sized wind power schemes that will place the UK market at the forefront of offshore renewable energy development worldwide."

The Stateline wind farm, between the states of Washington and Oregon in the U.S., is so far the largest wind farm in the world, with a maximum capacity of 300 megawatts, said Alison Hill, a spokeswoman with the British Wind Energy Association. Germany is the country with most wind energy capacity in the world, followed by Spain, the U.S. and Denmark, Hill said.

The world's biggest offshore wind farm that's already in operation is Denmark's Nysted windfarm, which can produce 165 megawatts and is operated by Energi E2 (link currently does not work in Firefox). The next largest is another Danish project, Horns Rev.

Havgul AS, a Norwegian wind-power company, plans to build three wind parks off the coast of northwest Norway with a combined capacity of 1,410 megawatts, according to its website. The company plans to submit applications for regulatory approval by the end of this year. The project originally comprised four parks, though one was shelved earlier this year after protests from local communities.

The three Norwegian parks, if approved, are unlikely to be completed before London Array, said Morten Thomsen, a spokesman for Energi E2.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mentioned 1000 megawatts equals 1 terawatt but I think you probably meant to say 1 gigawatt. Either that or this one windfarm is going to supply much of the world's power...which would be fine by me. Anyway, obviously just a typo. Love your site.

2:01 am, June 08, 2005  
Blogger James said...

Whoops! That'll teach me to check my posts more carefully when I write them late at night.

Thanks for pointing that out.

2:09 am, June 08, 2005  
Blogger caldini said...

If we could get London to use a quarter of the electricity that it does now, we're laughing!

1:59 pm, June 09, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one has said what the cost will be..! If the cost is more than Londoners now pay, watch it.
Vern Cornell

2:41 pm, June 09, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the cost per kilowatt-hour?

7:18 am, June 10, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you say "1000 megawatts" are you talking about average production, over a 24 hour period, or just when the wind is blowing?

Most wind farms in the US are producing peak power at best 25% of the time. So a 1000 megawatt installation is really only 250 megawatts, compared to a fossil fuel or nuclear plant.

4:31 pm, June 13, 2005  
Blogger James said...

1000 megawatts is the rated capacity.

I'd be interested to know where you get the 25% figure that from.

Most modern wind farms average production is between 33% to 45%.
source "The End of Oil" p.202

Coal delivers about 90% of its rated capacity and nuclear around 80%.

Alternative Energy Blog

4:46 pm, June 13, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wind energy should be developed much more extensively than now and especially in the US. We value German technology and see that Germany has set a good example of developing wind power and should follow that example. As wind power develops further, costs should decrease. The wind farm in my district (Ka'u) on the Big Island is up-grading its 20 yeare old wind generators with ones that are 3X more efficient than the original ones. It is important that we make efforts in this direction because the power is available. We just need the initiative and gumption to extract it.
Adrian Akau
Pahala, Hawaii

11:11 am, June 14, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 25% figure relates to domestic windmills, does it not?

I'm interested by the RSPB's concerns about the potential of wind farms for killing large amounts of birds. Presumably, we don't want to get too sentimental about it when we're trying to save the earth, but how much information is actually available on the true nature of this problem?

3:47 am, June 17, 2005  
Blogger James said...


This may come as a surprise to some, but I don't consider myself an environmentalist so I'm probably not the person best qualified to answer to answer your question.

However these links may help address concerns over wind turbines and bird kills:

4:56 am, June 17, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for that - you've helped put my fears to rest.

6:41 pm, June 17, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...what a great site you have here!!
Slightly off topic here...Does anyone know if there are/what are any significant demo or commercial "wave power" projects here in the US?
Regards, greenCoyote

12:43 pm, June 22, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do cost per KWH.of a wind farm take any account of the additional cost to keep a convential power station on standby with staff when the wind is not blowing?The most inefficient way to use any power producing plant

8:44 am, February 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the wind is not blowing you run the water through the turbines which you pumped up in to the reservoir with the excess power that was generated when howling gales in the night drove the wind mills to their capacity and allow the distributed ultra-capacitor banks, which were charged with the excess power, and their inverters to pick-up the load on the system.

9:33 am, July 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wind is the wave of the future.

3:58 pm, November 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Windmills? We Just Don’t Like ‘em!

At first we loved power from wind

So romantic, so lovely, but now we’re chagrinned.

We just didn’t realize the problems so large

Into our view these windmills would barge!

Now we ask should we save the earth

So nice, so noble, salute to rebirth.

Saving the world, it’s just not that hard

Just don’t you do it in my backyard!

So just how do we keep ’em away

Our water will be dirty that’s what we’ll say.

Don’t worry at all that it’s not true

Lies are okay when they spoil our view!

We’ll say they harm bats, birds and bees

And let’s not forget they’ll cut down trees.

But we know what is correct and true

We just don’t like ‘em, they spoil our view!

It’s okay to have power lines, cell towers too

McDonalds, Taco Bell, all sorts of drive throughs.

We just don’t want windmills, they’re just too new

We just couldn’t live with ‘em spoiling our view!

Quite soon with pollution the world will be warm

Some years from now killer bees will swarm.

As we all lay dying, cut down to the few

We will have won, we will have saved our view!

- Landrey Goodnaugh

3:59 pm, November 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear sir,
I feel that in the context of Global Warming this type of renewable energy is uncomparable.
To save the whole human society it
is essential to take necessary action to built this type of project in differnt places.
Thanks a lot that you give me an opportunity to delever some positive ideas about this Wind Energy plan.
Please you take several actions to spread this idea World wide.
Thanks again

Nili Majumder

9:53 pm, November 19, 2007  

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