Dong Energy and its partners have officially opened the Burbo Bank Extension offshore project near Liverpool Bay.
The windfarm is the first to make use of MHI Vestas’ 8MW turbines – the largest to be deployed anywhere in the world.
The Burbo Bank Extension is a joint venture between Dong Energy (50 per cent), PKA (25 per cent) and the parent company of the Lego Group, Kirkbi (25 per cent).
The project features 32 turbines with a combined capacity of 238MW.
Each one can generate more power than the whole of Vindeby, the world’s first offshore windfarm which Dong built in Denmark a quarter of a century ago. With a single rotation, they can produce enough energy to supply a typical home for 29 hours.
The blades, which were designed and manufactured on the Isle of Wight, are 80 metres long and weigh 35 tonnes a piece.
The 450-tonne transition pieces linking each turbine tower to its foundations were built by Offshore Structures Britain in Teesside and the turbines were assembled in Belfast.
“Burbo Bank Extension showcases the rapid innovation in the offshore wind industry,” said Dong Energy chief executive Henrik Poulsen.
“Less than ten years ago at Burbo Bank, we were the first to install Siemens 3.6MW wind turbines and in this short time, the wind turbines have more than doubled in capacity.”
Lego Group chief executive Bali Padda said: “We work to leave a positive impact on the planet and I am truly excited about the inauguration of the Burbo Bank Extension wind farm.
“This development means we have now reached [our] 100 per cent renewable energy milestone three years ahead of target.”
The inauguration received a strong welcome from Renewable UK executive director Emma Pinchbeck, who described the project as “game-changing” and a “testament to the offshore wind industry’s strong commitment to relentless innovation”.
“Today’s turbines are the most efficient ever – driving down the cost of electricity for consumers,” she added.
Dong is building a new multi-million-pound operation and maintenance facility in Merseyside that will serve both the Burbo Bank Extension and the existing Burbo Bank wind farm.
Up to 75 jobs will be created during construction and 45 people will be permanently employed at the site once it becomes operational later this year.
Metro mayor of the Liverpool city region, Steve Rotheram, said: “The offshore wind industry has a huge contribution to make to the growing UK-based supply chain, and utilising our renewable energy sources is vital to ensuring the Liverpool City Region cements its position as a low carbon leader.
“Dong Energy’s Burbo Bank Extension places Merseyside and Halton as home to the largest turbines in the world – and we have a strong maritime history which can support this industry.”