The Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm when it is completed later this year. How large?
That measurement is related to the MegaWatt capacity of the farm, which, according to part owner Ørsted will be 660 of them – 660 million watts – “enough green energy to meet the annual needs of more than half a million UK homes.”
More relevant to today’s POTD is the physical size of the farm. There is a video below that details the mind boggling engineering that goes in to making something like this, but here are some things to try to wrap your head around.
The turbines and the blades in the photo are different sizes, which is difficult to tell from the photo because of the enormity of the area it covers (which we will get to) .The shortest of the turbine blades is 120 metres long, which is 25 to 30 metres longer/taller than the Statue of Liberty (92.99m) or Big Ben (96m).
The longest of the blades is 200 metres, over three times as long as the wing span of a 747 (68.5m).
The hub of each turbine averages a height of about 100m, and they are sitting on foundations in water 20 to 55 metres deep at the lowest of low tides.
Here’s photo from the video of workmen and (part of) some of those yellow pylons.
And the size of the entire project? There are about 100 turbines. And the whole thing covers an area of 145 square kilometres, about as big as the Isle of Wight, or Vancouver. It’s located about 20km off the west coast of England, northwest of Blackpool in the Irish Sea.
Oh, and Ørsted is already building a larger wind farm, the Hornsea Project (good name for a spy novel) that is planned to open in 2022. It will have a capacity of 1.4 GW and generate enough electricity to power more than 1.3 million U.K. homes.