The world’s largest offshore wind farm is finally operational

Hornsea 2, a wind farm offshore the UK, is now fully operational and ready to power around 1.3 million homes in the UK. With 165 turbines he covers an area of ​​462 square kilometers (about 178 square miles), the facility is officially the largest offshore wind farm on Earth.

“The UK is one of the world leaders in offshore wind,” Patrick Harnett, program director of Hornsea 2 wind farm, told BBC News. “After five years of work to bring the world’s largest offshore wind farm to full commercial operation, this is very exciting.”

But the new farm’s claim to fame as the world’s largest would be short-lived. Dogger Bank Wind Farm is set to start operating next year, and he will eventually be able to power 6 million homes.

Hornsea 2 is located about 89 kilometers (55 miles) offshore, and at that distance it can be difficult to appreciate just how big these babies are. Each of the 165 windmills is about 200 meters (656 feet) above sea level, with three blades each extending 81 meters (266 feet) wide. Each height corresponds to the height of the Washington Monument and the width of the Washington Monument. A monument, in fact, except for rotation.

The announcement marks the completion of the project, which first started delivering energy in December 2021. It is reported that one turn of her blades can power her one home in the UK for 24 hours. Each rotation takes just 6 seconds, so it scales up to over 14,000 homes per turbine per day.

This is good news for several reasons. The most obvious reason is our reduced dependence on fossil fuels. Renewable energy sources are projected to reduce carbon emissions by up to 20 times over the next 30 years, and wind power in particular offers a much higher return on investment than coal, for example. For each unit of energy invested in wind power, approximately 44 units are returned as electricity, while the same input to coal yields only approximately 9 units of electricity.

But Hornsea 2 is good news for consumers, too. With over 1.3 gigawatts of capacity, wind power is one of the cheapest forms of energy as the world is hit by the current energy crisis (energy prices in the UK are expected to rise by up to 80% next month). is.

Simon Evans of Carbon Brief, a website that tracks renewable energy issues, said: “When I last checked, it was around £450 a megawatt hour to buy electricity generated by gas.” “This is about nine times the current cost of building new renewable capacity.”

Hornsea 2’s launch comes at an auspicious time when access to European gas is being squeezed by sanctions on Russia. Although the UK is one of the continent’s luckiest countries, with over 96% of its gas supply coming from sources outside Russia, it remains vulnerable to volatility in international gas markets, with fossil There are even more reasons to stay away from. fuel.

“Today’s global events highlight the importance of ground-breaking renewable energy projects like Hornsea 2 more than ever,” said UK Regional Head of Ørsted, the company that owns the farm. Duncan Clark told CNBC. The new farm is[help] By reducing reliance on expensive fossil fuels, the UK will make its energy supply more secure and resilient and reduce costs for consumers. ”

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