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 February 22, 2012
Vattenfall to flick switch on giant Ormonde offshore wind farm

 Energy giant Vattenfall will today complete commissioning of its Ormonde offshore wind farm off the coast of Cumbria, bringing the cutting-edge project up to its full 150MW capacity.

The milestone brings an end to a two-year construction project, which has seen 30 giant 5MW turbines, provided by Repower, installed 10 kilometres off Barrow-in-Furness before being connected to the grid. The facility is now expected to provide enough electricity for about 100,000 homes each year.

The turbines are among the largest in the world, each boasting three rotor blades that are 61.5 metres in length and a central nacelle that is the size of two houses.

Georg Friedrichs, head of offshore wind projects at Vattenfall, hailed the development as a major breakthrough for the global offshore wind sector.

"Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm gives a glimpse into the technological future of offshore wind development as it uses, at this large scale, the most powerful commercially available wind turbine in the world, with foundations specially designed for deep water and heavier machines," he explained.

Attention will now turn to the UK's next wave of offshore wind farms, many of which will be built in deeper water and will boast turbines ranging from 5MW and potentially all the way to 10MW of capacity.

Work is continuing on the London Array wind farm in the Thames Estuary, which is expected to be the largest in the world when it is completed, boasting 1GW of capacity.

Meanwhile, a raft of developers are moving forwards with the so-called Round 3 offshore wind farms, which will be located in deeper waters further off the coast and are expected to be constructed during the second half of the decade.