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Burbo Bank Extension, a new offshore windfarm capable of meeting the electricity demand of well over 230,000 homes, has been officially opened at a ceremony in Liverpool.
The wind farm is a joint venture between DONG Energy (50%) and its partners PKA (25%) and KIRKBI A/S, parent company of the LEGO Group (25%). It is the first offshore wind farm in the world to make commercial use of the MHI Vestas V164-8.0 MW wind turbines.
Just one of these wind turbines produces more energy than the whole of Vindeby, the world’s first offshore windfarm constructed by DONG Energy 25 years ago in Denmark.
Henrik Poulsen, DONG Energy Chief Executive, said: “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.
“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 project has also helped to develop the UK supply chain. It is the first offshore windfarm to use UK manufactured blades and the order for transition pieces was the first for Teesside factory Offshore Structures Britain.”
Peter Damgaard Jensen, PKA CEO, said: “Since our first investment in an offshore windfarm in 2011, PKA has focused its strategy on investing in renewables and divesting from coal and oil companies. Today, PKA has invested in four offshore windfarms that provide renewable energy to around a million households. We are proud to be able to provide a good return to the pension savers and at the same time make a positive difference.”
Bali Padda, CEO of the LEGO Group, 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 the 100% renewable energy milestone three years ahead of target. Together with our partners, we intend to continue investing in renewable energy to help create a better future for the builders of tomorrow.”
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.”
DONG Energy is building a new multi-million pound operations facility in Merseyside that will serve both Burbo Bank Extension, and the existing wind farm in the area, Burbo Bank. Up to 75 jobs will be created during the construction of the facility, while around 45 people will be permanently employed at the site once it is operational, later this year.
DONG Energy is currently operating 17 offshore wind farms across the UK, Germany and Denmark and was recently the world’s first developer to reach the installation of 1,000 offshore wind turbines.