Putting the wind up
The turbines of the world’s largest wind farm started producing electricity last week. Walney Wind Farm sits in the Irish Sea off Cumbria, and its 102 turbines will produce 367 megawatts of energy, enough for 320,000 homes a year. The turbines were installed in just five months, will provide around 60 jobs in its operations centre in Barrow-in-furness. Almost 300 wind turbines will be built offshore in the UK this year adding to more than 3,500 turbines on land and at sea. By 2020, the industry wants 10,000 wind turbines on land and 4,300 offshore to help the UK meet its target to cut carbon emissions in half. Meanwhile the location of a new £50 million centre that will accelerate green technologies such as wave, wind and tidal was announced by the Business Secretary Vince Cable. The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult will be headquartered at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow with an operational centre at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) in the North East of England. Offshore wind turbines are unlikely ever to be seen in New Zealand, owing to both the depth of water around the country and also the quality of wind that is harvested on land.