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Walney Wind Farm

Walney Wind Farm
File:Walney Offshore Windfarm - - 2391702.jpg
Walney Wind Farm under construction in 2011
Location of Walney Wind Farm in England
Country England, United Kingdom
Location 14km west of Walney Island off the coast of Cumbria

54°02′38″N 3°31′19″W / 54.044°N 3.522°W / 54.044; -3.522Coordinates: 54°02′38″N 3°31′19″W / 54.044°N 3.522°W / 54.044; -3.522{{#coordinates:54.044|-3.522|type:landmark|||||| |primary |name=

Status Operational
Construction began March 2010
Commission date February 2012
Wind farm
Type Offshore
Site area Script error: No such module "convert".
Distance from shore Script error: No such module "convert".
Rotor diameter 120 m
Power generation
Units operational 102
Make and model Siemens: SWT-3.6
Nameplate capacity 367 MW
Capacity factor 43%
Annual generation ~ 1,300 GW·h/year

Walney Wind Farm is an offshore wind farm 14 km west of Walney Island off the coast of Cumbria, in the Irish Sea, England. It has a capacity of 367 MW, which makes it one of the world's largest offshore wind farms. The wind farm was developed by Walney (UK) Offshore Windfarms Limited, a partnership between DONG Energy and Scottish and Southern Energy.[1] The farm is immediately north west of the West of Duddon Sands Wind Farm and also to the west of Ormonde Wind Farm. The farm is in water depths ranging from 19m to 23m and covers an area of approximately 73 km2.


Both phases have 51 turbines giving a nameplate capacity of 367 MW.[2] Until September 2012 it was the world's largest operational offshore wind farm.[3] It is expected to generate about 1,300 GW·h/year of electricity, with a load factor of 43%[4][5][6]


The key planning consents obtained were the following:[citation needed]

  • Consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 to construct and operate a windfarm. This will also cover the offshore cables and other infrastructure.
  • FEPA License under section 5 of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985, concerning the protection of marine ecosystems.
  • Consent under section 34 of the Coast Protection Act 1949 in order to make provision for the safety of navigation in relation to the export cables.
  • Planning permission under section 90 of the Town and County Planning Act 1990, sought as part of the section 36 application, for the onshore elements of the works (“Deemed planning permission”).
  • Extinguishment of public rights of navigation will be requested under the Energy Act 2004 for the areas of seabed directly covered by the offshore structures.


In 2004 DONG Energy was awarded a 50-year lease from The Crown Estate to develop a wind farm off Walney Island, as part of the second UK offshore wind farm tendering process known as "Round 2".[7] The farm was constructed sequentially in two phases with overlapping installation activities to reduce the overall construction timeframe.

The project involved constructing the wind turbines and their foundations, building two offshore substations and installing two undersea power cables, one for each phase, and two short onshore cables to connect to two existing onshore Electrical substations for connection into the UK National Grid. A cable was laid by Stemat Spirit. Phase 1 connects to a substation at Heysham and Phase 2 connects to substation at Stanah, south of Fleetwood. Both undersea cables pass close by Barrow Wind Farm. All the construction work was expected to take less than 2 years, with both phases operational by the end of 2011.[8] On 11 July 2011 Phase 1 became operational, comprising 51 turbines with an installed capacity of 183.6MW.[9]

Walney 2 began sending power to the grid on 1 November 2011. In February 2012, DONG Energy claimed to have installed the 51 turbines in Walney 2 in 5 months and 14 days, including monopiles and complete turbines; about 3.25 days per turbine. Walney 1 took 7 months. The improvement is due to commonality of projects and resources.[10] The wind farm was officially opened on 9 February 2012 by the new energy secretary, Ed Davey, MP,[3] although the last of the 51 turbines in Walney 2 were only activated in April 2012.[11]

Walney Extension

In November 2014 DONG Energy was given development consent for an extension to the Walney offshore wind farm.[12] The development consent allowed a maximum of 207 turbines to be added to the existing 102 turbines.[12] The maximum generating capacity of the extension was said to be 750MW although DONG was reported to be proceeding with a project based around 660MW.[12] Construction is expected to begin in 2017.[12] In 2015 DONG chose the 8MW Vestas for Phase 1,[13] and the 7MW Siemens gearless turbine for Phase 2.[14]

Involvement in oil spill

In 2014 a dive vessel, owned by Danish firm Offshore Marine Services, was carrying out routine inspection work when an anchor cable broke and the ship slammed into one of 102 turbines installed at the Walney Offshore Wind Farm. The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency surveyed the crash site and reported that a surface sheen stretching 33 feet wide and 0.7 nautical miles long was trailing the vessel. The agency said that, unlike heavier crude oil, the marine engine oil should evaporate or disperse naturally.[15]


  1. ^ DONG Energy Project website
  2. ^ "UKWED Offshore wind farms". RenewableUK. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  3. ^ a b World's biggest offshore wind farm opens off Britain as new minister admits high cost The Telegraph, 9 February 2012. Accessed: 9 February 2012.
  4. ^ DONG Energy announcement on Walney Offshore Wind Farm. Accessed: 14 February 2012.
  5. ^ SSE announcement on Walney Offshore Wind Farm. Accessed: 14 February 2012.
  6. ^ Note that the published load factor and expected annual generation do not match well: if the 367-MW wind farm is expected to generate 1,300 GW·h a year, then load factor is a bit smaller than claimed (around 40%).
  7. ^ Walney wind farm project history
  8. ^ Walney Project brochure
  9. ^
  10. ^ Walney opens for business RE News Europe, 9 February 2012. Accessed: 9 February 2012.
  11. ^ Newsletter no 25 - April 2012 DONG Energy. Retrieved: 14 June 2012.
  12. ^ a b c d "UK OK to Dong's 660MW Walney Extension offshore wind". 7 November 2014. 
  13. ^ Pedersen, Maria Berg Badstue. "Dong vælger Vestas' supermølle" Energy-supply, 18 February 2015.
  14. ^ Pedersen, Maria Berg Badstue. "Napper Dong-ordre med ny supermølle" Energy-supply, 12 March 2015.
  15. ^ "Offshore Wind Farm Involved In Oil Spill". Retrieved 2014-09-09. 

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