Top 10 Biggest & Most Beautiful Offshore Wind Farms in the World
Off the Danish coast, the first offshore wind farm in history was put into operation in 1991. The facility, called Vindeby, had just 11 turbines and had a nameplate capacity of 4.95 MW. Modern turbines that are 300 m tall would be dwarfed by the 35 m rotor diameter of Vindeby’s turbines.
This list only includes wind farm projects that have already begun producing electricity. There are many more that are either being built or are being considered as proposals. Off the coast of South Korea, the biggest of these could produce more than 8 GW of electricity.
The term “wind power” describes the electricity produced by wind-driven turbines, most frequently windmills. In contrast to oil, which requires burning fossil fuels, wind energy is considered to be a clean and renewable source of energy because it is produced by natural forces. The wind drives a turbine, which uses a number of mechanisms to alter its rotational speed as it travels to a generator, to produce electricity. In most cases, the amount of power produced by wind is measured in gigawatts.
In contrast to coal or natural gas, using the wind to generate electricity has no costs, but it is challenging for nations to use wind power as their main source of energy. The cost of purchasing or producing wind turbines and other necessary infrastructure is the first drawback. Furthermore, it may be difficult or even impossible to rely heavily on wind power due to logistical issues like shifting wind directions and an abundance of wind.
Investigate the information in the map and charts to learn more about wind power usage by nation.
The Hornsea 2 wind farm started up for the first time on August 31, 2022, and started producing electricity. It quickly surpassed all other offshore wind farms as the biggest in the world.
Nearby to the smaller Hornsea 1 wind farm, Hornsea 2 is situated in the North Sea about 89 km off the northeastern coast of England.
It can provide electricity to more than 1.4 million homes in the UK thanks to its nameplate capacity of over 1.3 GW.
It will cover 462 km2 with its 165 Siemens Gamesa 8MW SG 8.0-167 DD turbines. It not only has the biggest offshore wind farm in the entire world, but it also has the biggest offshore substation.
The second offshore wind farm to be put into operation so far is the 630MW London Array, which is situated in the UK’s outer Thames Estuary. The London Array is also the sixth-largest total wind farm in the world. A partnership between Masdar, E.ON, and DONG Energy created the array.
The wind farm’s offshore area is about 100 km2, and there are about 450 km of cables there. Siemens is providing 175 turbines for phase one, along with an onshore substation and two offshore substations.
The first turbine was put in place in January 2012, and the final one was put in place within a year, with the official opening taking place in July 2013. At its current capacity, the wind farm eliminates 900,000 t of carbon dioxide annually.
The third-largest offshore wind farm in the world by installed capacity, the 500MW Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm, is also situated in the UK. The wind farm is located 25 kilometers (km) off the Suffolk coast in the North Sea.
Together, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and RWE npower (RWE) own the Greater Gabbard wind farm. A joint venture between Airtricity and Flour was responsible for its initial launch.
The wind farm has 140 turbines with a 3.6MW capacity each. On steel monopoles drilled 24 to 34 meters deep in the ocean, the turbines are mounted. The Leviathan vessel operated by Seajacks completed offshore installations. Siemens was the supplier of the turbines.
The fourth-largest offshore wind farm in the world is Bard Offshore 1, which is situated in the North Sea 100 kilometers to the northwest of Borkum Island. The wind farm has 80 turbines totaling 5MW in a 60km2 area.
The wind farm was built by Bard Engineering. The wind farm’s construction was finished by the end of July 2013 with the installation of the final turbine. August 2013 marked the official opening of the wind farm. Currently, it provides 80% of the offshore power generated in Germany.
Bard Offshore 1’s turbines are made of more than 120,000 tonnes of steel. The German wind farm is credited with having the longest shore connection in the world at 200 kilometers.
Using a variety of jack-up and support vessels, the first 40 wind turbines of the wind farm were installed in a record-breaking seven months.
The 400MW Anholt offshore wind project is the biggest offshore wind farm in Denmark and ranks fifth in the world in terms of total installed capacity. It received its formal inauguration in September 2013.
The majority stake (50%) in the Anholt wind project is owned by Danish utility company DONG Energy, which also manages the wind farm. Pension Danmark and PKA, two pension fund companies, each own 30% and 20% of the project.
111 Siemens wind turbines with a 3.6MW each make up Anholt. The rotor has a 120m diameter. Danish engineers designed the turbines, towers, and foundations. Nearly 4% of Denmark’s total energy requirements are met by the wind farm.
Walney, the sixth-largest offshore wind farm in the world, is run by DONG Energy. The wind farm is situated 15 kilometers west of Barrow-in-Furness in the East Irish Sea in the UK’s Cumbria. The wind farm, which was constructed in two stages, has a 367.2MW installed capacity.
In January and November 2011, the two phases of the offshore wind farm were connected to the grid. Early 2012 saw the beginning of both phases’ commercial operation.
102 Siemens 3.6MW wind turbines total, 51 installed in each phase, make up the Walney wind farm. The wind farm will be expanded with an additional 120 turbines, bringing its total installed capacity to over 1,000MW.
The first offshore wind farm in Belgium, called Thornton Bank, is situated 30 kilometers off the Belgian coast in the North Sea, in water as deep as 30 meters. The wind farm has a 325.2MW installed capacity and was built in three stages. The seventh-largest offshore wind farm in the world as of right now.
2009 saw the commissioning of the first phase of the offshore wind farm owned and run by C-Power. In 2013, the second and third phases were put into operation.
Thornton Bank 1 has six REpower 5MW turbines installed. There are 24 REpower 6.15 MW turbines in Thornton Bank 2. Thornton Bank 3 also has 24 REpower 6.15MW turbines, which were put into service in September 2013. Around 600,000 people can receive electricity from the wind farm.
The Sheringham Shoal wind farm, with a nameplate capacity of 317MW, is the eighth-largest offshore wind farm in the world and is situated 17 to 23 kilometers off the coast of Norfolk in Greater Wash, United Kingdom. The wind farm is situated 35km2 offshore in a diamond-shaped layout.
There are 88 3.6MW turbines on Sheringham Shoal. The turbines are supported by monopole foundations with a diameter of 4.2 to 5.2 meters. Wells Harbour on the coast of Norfolk serves as the wind farm’s operational headquarters. The project includes one onshore substation and two offshore substations.
The Sheringham Shoal wind farm was constructed by Scira Offshore, a joint venture between Statkraft and Statoil, with an estimated $1.8 billion in funding. The wind farm is currently run by Statoil, but Statkraft will take over management in January 2014.
With a 300MW installed capacity, the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm is situated 11 km offshore of Thanet, Kent, United Kingdom. Vattenfall owns and manages the 35 km2 wind farm, which is located in water between 20 and 25 meters deep.
The £780 million ($1.25 billion) wind power project’s construction started in 2008 and was finished in 2010. In September 2010, Thanet Offshore Wind Farm opened for business. The world’s eighth-largest offshore wind farm is currently located there.
There are 100 Vestas V90 3MW wind turbines in the wind farm. The distance between rows and along each row of the turbines is measured at 800 meters. The highest point of each turbine is 115 meters high.
The Lincs wind farm is currently the ninth largest offshore wind farm and is owned and operated by the British company Centrica. In August 2013, the 270MW wind farm, which is eight kilometers off the coast of Lincolnshire, was formally opened.
The Lincs wind farm’s 75 Siemens 3.6MW turbines provide clean energy to more than 200,000 homes. The wind farm’s construction began in 2010, and by the end of March 2013, the final turbine had been installed. In ten to fifteen meters of water, the turbines were set up.
DONG Energy and Siemens Project Ventures each own 25% of the Lincs wind farm, which is owned by Centrica to the tune of 50%. The wind farm will run for at least 20 years before being decommissioned.
With a 209MW installed capacity, Horns Rev 2 is currently the 11th largest offshore wind farm. When Horns Rev 2 was inaugurated in September 2009, it was the largest offshore wind farm in the world.
The 160MW Horns Rev wind farm was expanded by the wind farm owned by DONG Energy. Siemens provided 91 wind turbines with a 2.3MW rating for Horns Rev 2. The two Horns Rev wind farms have a total nameplate capacity of 369 MW.
The first offshore wind farm with an accommodation platform was Horns Rev 2. 24 on-site employees are housed on the offshore platform, which is connected to the transformer platform by an outer gangway.
This weekend marks the beginning of the installation of the first 13 megawatt (MW) turbines at Dogger Bank, the largest offshore wind farm in the world and located in the UK.
The Voltaire, the biggest offshore jack-up installation vessel ever built, will install the 277 13 MW Haliade-X turbines from GE Renewable Energy about 80 miles off the coast of Yorkshire. The lifting capacity of the ship with ultra-low emissions is 3,200 tonnes.
The height of the Haliade-X turbines is 260 meters (853 feet). Each is the same height as New York’s Rockefeller Center, to put that in perspective. Their 107-meter-long (351-foot-long) blades can generate enough clean energy in one rotation to supply an average UK home with power for two days.
The Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be built on a seabed that was once a land bridge connecting the UK and Europe, taking up an area nearly the size of Greater London.
The 3.6 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind farm will be able to generate enough clean energy each year to power the equivalent of 6 million homes once it is operational. It will result in annual CO2 emissions savings equal to those of almost 1.5 million typical gas-powered cars.
The largest offshore wind farm in the world is being developed and constructed by SSE Renewables of the UK in a partnership with Equinor and Vrgrnn of Norway (a partnership between Eni Plenitude and Hitec Vision).
This 600 MW offshore wind farm is currently under construction in the Baltic Sea on the Danish waters. It will be part of the planned 400 MW interconnector between Denmark and Germany. The Danish Energy Agency found a favourable site with ideal wind conditions back in 2010. Kriegers Flak is also in close proximity to the German offshore wind farm ″EnBW Baltic 2″.
Kriegers Flak thus has the location advantage to connect with the Danish grid and the ″EnBW Baltic 2″ German grid. Naturally divided into two portions by a sand dredging area, the wind farm has a west 200 MW side as well as an east 400 MW capacity side.
If we were to ground all the four Borssele wind projects together, it can technically generate well over the largest. Netherlands’ Borssele Wind Farm though is divided into Borssele I & II and Borssele III & IV respectively for business and commercial reasons.
Borssele I & II is a 752MW offshore wind power project peppering the Dutch North Sea, owned and operated by Ørsted. It has been fully operational since November 2020. Ørsted bagged the Netherlands Government tender at an approximate price of £65.7 (€72.7) per MWh. Approximately 190km of inter-array cables transmit the electricity generated by each wind turbine to a Borssele Alpha offshore substation.
The Borssele III and IV are also in proximity and has a capacity of 731.5MW. Owned by the Blauwwind consortium, the Borssele III & IV has many partners Group including Shell (20%), Mitsubishi Corporation’s subsidiary Diamond Generating Europe (15%) and other biggies.
They installed the last of the 77 wind turbines last year, and it has the potential to generate 3,000 GWh of green electricity a year; enough to power 825,000 Dutch households or 2.3% of the country’s total electricity demand.
Until recently, offshore wind farms have not found favour in Australia, cited as being too expensive and difficult to build. That has changed recently, however, with the country’s first offshore wind project, Star of the South.
The proposal for the facility suggests that up to 200 turbines could be installed as close as 7 km to the Victorian coast line, passing over the Basslink cable.
If developed to its full potential capacity of 2.2 GW, Star of the South could provide a fifth of Victoria’s electricity requirements – that’s around 1.2 million homes. It would also easily move to first place in our list of the world’s five largest offshore wind farms.
The Australian Government is currently seeking feedback on whether the proposed area is suitable for development.
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