The wind farm, which is a shared-ownerships project between Ørsted (50%) and two leading Danish pension funds PFA (25%) and PKA (25%), is due for completion in the second half of 2018.
Walney Extension, off the coast of Cumbria, is being constructed in two phases using turbine technology from two different manufacturers – Siemens Gamesa and MHI Vestas.
The first three of 47 Siemens Gamesa 7MW turbines have now been installed in the second and final phase of construction. MHI Vestas has already installed the first phase with 40 of its 8MW turbines and commissioning is now nearing completion.
Once fully complete in the second half of 2018, Walney Extension will be capable of generating enough green energy to meet the annual needs of more than half a million UK homes.
At 659MW, the Walney Extension project will leapfrog London Array to become the world’s largest operational wind farm.
Speaking on behalf of Ørsted and partners PKA & PFA - Andrew Cotterell, Walney Extension Programme Director at Ørsted, said: “We are very pleased with the progress we are making on the project and remain on schedule, despite some quite challenging weather conditions. In general, both offshore and onshore works are well advanced and our focus is set on completion in the second half of 2018.”
Clark MacFarlane, UK & Ireland Managing Director at Siemens Gamesa, said: “Siemens Gamesa is delighted to see this exciting and world-leading project nearing completion. For Siemens Gamesa, it is world-leading also as it is the first installation of our 7MW turbines. In less than a year, we shall see a further half million UK homes benefitting from clean, green energy for years to come.”
Construction of the project is being co-ordinated from a base at the Port of Barrow, which already hosts the operating and maintenance teams for three other Ørsted offshore windfarms, Barrow, Walney and West of Duddon Sands.
As part of Ørsted’s commitment to the region, a £15million Walney Extension community fund has been set up to support local projects and organisations. Each year, around £600,000 will be made available for the expected 25-year lifetime of the wind farm, with £100,000 of this ring-fenced for a 'Skills Fund' to promote education and support local students.
Ørsted is a renewable energy company that takes tangible action to create a world that runs entirely on green energy. Ørsted develops, constructs and operates offshore wind farms across Europe, Asia and the US, develops and operates bioenergy plants, innovative waste-to-energy solutions and provides smart energy products to its power distribution and energy customers. Headquartered in Denmark, Ørsted employs 5,800 people worldwide, including over 900 in the UK. Ørsted’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen [Orsted]. In 2016, the company’s revenue was DKK 61 bn (EUR 8.2 bn). For more information on Ørsted, visit orsted.co.uk or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
With more than EUR 67 billion (DKK 500 billion Danish kroner) under management and 1.2 million individual customers, PFA is the largest commercial pension company in Denmark. PFA is an experienced investor and is currently undergoing a strategic investment expansion focusing on investments in both green energy and infrastructure. EUR 5.4 billion (DKK 40 billion) is allocated for investments in unlisted shares, infrastructure and credit by 2020.
PKA Ltd. is one of the largest pension service providers for labour market pension funds in Denmark. Their 300,000 members work primarily in the public sector. PKA invest approximately DKK 250bn (EUR 34.2bn) on behalf of their members. PKA has a special focus on investing in projects that help to mitigate the effects of climate change. They have invested approximately DKK 19bn (EUR 2.3bn) in climate-related projects and have currently investments in five offshore wind farms since the sale of Butendiek offshore wind farm in 2016.
About Walney Extension Community Fund
The Fund supports community and environmental projects along the Cumbria and Lancashire coast, within a defined area. Approximately £600,000 is available each year (£100,000 of this is ring-fenced for a 'Skills Fund'). The Fund is split equally between two annual funding rounds. There are two levels of grants available:
- Small grants between £500 and £5,000
- Main grants between £5,001 and £75,000
Applications to the Fund are made using an online application system via the GrantScape website.