Today, Secretary of State Edward Davey joined the Prime Minister and DECC Minister Greg Barker at the opening of the World’s largest offshore wind farm, the London Array, in Margate, Kent.
With 175 wind turbines, the Array will be able to generate 630 MegaWatts of electricity, which is enough power for nearly half a million homes, or the equivalent to two-thirds of Kent.
The project was a £1.5 billion joint venture by energy companies DONG Energy, E.ON, and Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s state backed renewable energy company, and involved over 75 organisations and 6,700 people to bring it to fruition.
The investment has benefitted companies from all over the UK with construction supplies ranging from cable manufacturing in Yorkshire to boats from Brightlingsea to wind towers from Scotland.
Of the Array, Edward Davey said
“London Array is a big deal for offshore wind, a big deal for UK electricity supply and a big deal for inward investment into the UK.
“It’s the biggest offshore wind farm in the world.
“It’s a bulk generator of power feeding into the diverse mix on our grid. Half a million homes will be London Array powered. This is good news for keeping our lights on and reducing carbon emissions.
“And it’s attracted billions of inward investment into our economy.
“Everyone involved is to be congratulated for this achievement.
“The Government is reforming the market, and last week announced long term support for offshore wind, to make sure that more projects like this come to fruition.”
Following a helicopter tour of the facility, the PM formally opened the wind farm with a speech in which he welcomed the investment in the UK clean energy sector and called it a “win for local jobs, skills & growth.”
The Prime Minister hailed Britain as a great place to invest and the London Array as testimony to that. He said:
“Today is very simple. It’s a triple win.
“First of all it’s a huge win for Kent. This project has been built by some of the bravest seaman, some of the most talented engineers, some of the hardest workers, and it’s going to continue to bring benefits to people in Kent for many, many years to come.
“The second thing that it’s a big win for is renewable energy. Sometimes people wonder, ‘Can you really have renewable energy projects at scale?’.
“What the London Array shows - powering half a million homes, the biggest offshore wind farm anywhere in the world - it absolutely shows that you can do scale renewables and you can do them right here in Britain.
“And that leads me to the third and I think the most important win of all, and it’s a very big win for Britain. Sometimes people wonder, ‘Can we in the West do big projects any more? Can we do the big investments? Isn’t that all happening somewhere else in the east and south of our world?’.
“If you look at the UK you can see we can do big projects. Not only did we do a superb Olympics, but under London Crossrail is the biggest construction project anywhere in Europe.
“Not far from here is London Gateway, which is the biggest port construction taking place anywhere in Europe, and here you have the biggest offshore construction anywhere in the world.
“I think this demonstrates Britain is a great place to invest.”
He was joined in speaking by the collaborating companies, represented by Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar; Dr Johannes Teyssen, CEO, E.ON; Brent Cheshire, Chairman and Managing Director, DONG Energy and Peter Loescher, President & CEO, Siemens.