UK’s Newest Offshore Wind Farm Gearing Up

The 30th turbine was recently completed on the Barrow Offshore Wind (BOW) project, four miles off the South Cumbrian coast, and will be commissioned before beginning full commercial operations in June.

Barrow is the UK’s newest offshore wind farm and represents an investment of more than GBP100 million [USD$188 million] by its joint owners, British Gas parent company Centrica and Danish energy group DONG Energy. The project will supply electricity to British Gas customers and is capable of powering 65,000 homes with green energy, as well as saving 200,000 tons of CO2 annually. The Barrow wind farm is the first of several large scale renewable energy projects planned for the Irish Sea, which is one of three strategic zones laid down by the government for offshore wind farm development. The rectangular wind farm site covers 10 square kilometers of the East Irish Sea, consisting of four rows of turbines spaced 500 meters (m) apart. The two-section turbine towers, blades and nacelles were transported to the site six at a time. Each turbine weighs 250 tons and stands 120 m above sea level when the blades are vertical. “Not only is this is another milestone on the journey to secure the UK’s future energy needs,” said Jake Ulrich, Managing Director of Centrica Energy, “it underlines the significant investment to supply our British Gas customers with renewable electricity in the years ahead.” British Gas is expected to invest up to GBP750 million [USD$1.4 billion] in renewable energy over the coming years. In 2004/5 it was the only large energy supplier to meet its obligation through Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs).
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