Løseth says that with the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, Vattenfall “has taken a major step towards doubling its generation from wind power until 2011 and we continue to lead the way in offshore wind development. Wind power will be a corner-stone of delivering both profitability and sustainability for Vattenfall in the years to come. This project would not have been possible without the British Government’s active support and its commitment to renewable energy.”
Between 2009 and 2011, Vattenfall will have doubled its wind power electricity generation by constructing nine wind farms in six countries to supply electricity equivalent to the demand of 800,000 households annually.
Thanet is the company’s largest offshore wind farm to date. The power generated using the English Channel winds will provide a significant increase of renewable, clean energy in the UK while decreasing the amount of car-bon dioxide emissions from Vattenfall’s electricity generation.
Secretary Huhne notes that Thanet Offshore Wind Farm’s 300 megawatts (MW) will take UK installed wind power capacity across the 5,000MW line. “I’m pleased that we’ve reached the point where 5GW of our energy comes from onshore and offshore wind. We are in a unique position to become a world leader in this industry. We are an island nation and I firmly believe we should be harnessing our wind, wave and tidal resources to the maximum. I know that there is still more to do to bring forward the large sums of investment we want to see in low-carbon energy in the UK, and we as Government are committed to playing our part.”
Construction of the Thanet project, which is located seven miles off shore, took about two years and covers an area of 35 square kilometers. Each turbine is up to 115 meters tall at its highest point. An additional 200 turbines are slated to be built over the next four years, for a total cost of $1.2 billion, Deutsche Welle reported. The wind farm is expected to operate for at least 25 years.
According to Agence France-Presse, Britain has about 250 onshore wind farms and 12 more offshore, with more than two thousand turbines total. Worldwide, wind power is forecast to double over the next four years.