Today, the Secretary of State Edward Davey officially opened the West of Duddon Sands Offshore Wind Farm, which is located 20km off the Barrow-in-Furness coastline in North West England. He was joined by ScottishPower and Iberdrola Chairman, Ignacio Galan, and DONG Energy Executive Vice President Wind Power, Samuel Leupold.
With 108 wind turbines, West of Duddon Sands will be able to generate 389 MW of electricity, which is enough to power over a quarter of a million homes. It is among the largest offshore wind farms in the world.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said:
“This wind farm will generate enough clean electricity to power more than a quarter of a million homes and give the local economy a major and sustained boost.
“We want an energy mix that is built on diverse, home-grown sources to make sure our supplies are clean and secure. Wind has a huge role to play, which is why the UK is the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind projects.”
The wind farm was a £1.6 billion joint venture by ScottishPower Renewables and DONG Energy. Over 1,000 people have been employed on the renewable energy project, which has also seen more than 200 km of undersea cables installed.
West of Duddon Sands has been one of the most efficient offshore projects completed to date in the UK. It is the first to use next generation facilities, vessels and construction techniques. The foundations and the turbine components were installed in record time, enabling the whole project to be completed two months ahead of schedule.
One of the biggest benefits to the project has been the new £50 million offshore wind terminal at Belfast Harbour. The terminal is the first purpose-built offshore wind installation and pre-assembly harbour in the UK and supports up to 300 jobs, ranging from welders to electricians and engineers.
The wind farm’s newly constructed Operations and Maintenance Base in Barrow will support another 40 highly-skilled jobs for at least the next 20 years. This is the fourth major offshore wind farm that will be managed from Barrow, which is a major hub for skills and resources for supporting offshore wind, and the UK’s leading region for the offshore wind industry.
This new build contributes to our future low carbon energy mix. It demonstrates how the UK market is rated as the most attractive place to invest in offshore wind in the world, and why major manufacturers are investing here, creating jobs and benefitting the UK economy.