RWE Innogy and SSE inaugurate Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm
500 MW wind farm provides enough green energy to supply 530,000 homes
50-50 joint venture partners RWE Innogy and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) invested £1.6bn
140 wind turbines in water depths between 24 and 34 metres and with an installed capacity of 500 megawatts (MW): Greater Gabbard is one of the largest wind farms in the UK. At today’s opening ceremony, the joint venture partners RWE Innogy and SSE inaugurate the power plant together with Michael Fallon, Minister of State for Energy. Greater Gabbard is located 23 kilometres off the coast of Suffolk, over an area of 147 square kilometres. The 3.6 MW wind turbines are producing enough climate-friendly electricity to supply around 530,000 households.
An investment volume of £1.6 billion and over eight million working hours were spent developing and constructing the project. Around 100 new jobs have been created at the operations and maintenance base at Lowestoft. With this, Greater Gabbard cements the UK’s reputation as one of the world-leaders in the offshore renewables sector. Furthermore, the wind park is supporting the local economy.
Construction of Greater Gabbard commenced in 2008 and was completed in September 2012. Dr Hans Bünting, CEO of RWE Innogy, explained: “An incredible amount of partnership working, innovation and hard work has resulted in the successful completion of Greater Gabbard. Offshore and onshore wind technologies are a perfect match for the future energy mix in Europe. Now is the time to set the course for offshore wind in Europe for the next investment period, especially in the UK and Germany, the major growth markets for offshore wind in the EU.”
“The last ten years has seen substantial progress in both the number and scale of offshore wind farm developments. Greater Gabbard has been a pioneering project during this period and can proudly take its place as a major milestone in the development of the UK offshore wind industry. For many years it was the largest wind farm under development world-wide and was the first to be sited more than 12 miles offshore. It continues to be the furthest from the shore and in the deepest water of any UK offshore wind asset. The success offshore brings onshore benefits to local people, businesses and the wider economy,“ added Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE Chief
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RWE Innogy is currently building two further offshore wind power plants in Europe. The Nordsee Ost (NSO) offshore wind farm is located around 35 kilometres to the north-east of the island Helgoland in the German North Sea region. With a total output of around 295 MW NSO will be able to provide approximately 295,000 German households with climate-friendly electricity. 24 of the 48 foundations for the wind turbines have been successfully installed. This week, RWE Innogy has started laying the first inter array cable in the construction area.
Gwynt y Môr is being built in Liverpool Bay, off the North Wales coast. At 576 MW, the power plant is RWE’s largest offshore wind farm currently in construction. It is a shared investment between partners RWE Innogy (60%),
Stadtwerke München (30%) and Siemens (10%).
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