The UK’s offshore capacity has passed the 1.5 GW mark following the announcement that Dong and SSE’s 184 MW Walney 1 wind farm in the Irish Sea has become fully operational. The 51-turbine project finished its construction phase in May. Walney 1, which is 14 km from the coast of Cumbrian northern England, had experienced some delays because of cabling issues. Now that it is fully operational work continues on its sister project, Walney 2, which will potentially begin contributing another 184 MW of electricity when it becomes fully operational next year.
Meanwhile, the UK government has set a new target for 18 GW of offshore wind by 2020, up from 13 GW. The offshore wind industry is also to benefit from a £30 million fund to support innovation in component production over the next four years, according to the government. This comes on top of £25 million for a new drive train test facility at the National Renewable Energy Centre announced by the Energy Technology Institute recently. The government wants the costs of offshore wind to drop to £100/MWh by 2020 and has set up an industry task force to look at how this can be achieved.