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World-first wind turbines power up in Liverpool

Dong Energy, offshore wind farm

The world’s largest wind turbines have begun generating electricity off the coast of Liverpool in a global first for commercial offshore wind farms.

Dong Energy’s 258MW Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm holds 32 of the powerful V164-8.0 MW turbines, enough to power 230,000 homes each year. Electricity was first generated on the 40km² wind farm, set 7km off Liverpool Bay, in November last year.

The blades for the V164-8.0 MW turbines, which are 80m long and weigh 35t each, were manufactured on the Isle of Wight, where Danish company MHI Vestas has a factory. The V164-8.0 MW turbine set the record for electricity production in October 2014, generating 192MWh in a 24-hour period.

The project is a joint venture between Dong Energy (50%) and its partners PKA (25%) and Lego group parent company Kirkbi A/S (25%). It is hoped the turbines will reduce offshore wind costs, making the industry more competitive.

“Burbo Bank Extension showcases the rapid innovation in the offshore wind industry. 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,” said Dong Energy chief executive Henrik Poulsen.

“Pushing innovation in this way reduces the cost of electricity from offshore wind and will help to advance the offshore wind industry across the world.”

The farm was among the first to receive government subsidies for renewable projects in the initial Contracts for Difference round in 2014.

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