World's biggest offshore wind farm gets green light in UK
It's been an exciting time in offshore wind lately. Rhode Island will complete the first offshore wind farm in the U.S. soon, North Carolina is moving closer to installing a wind farm off its coast, and the UK is now doubling down on its offshore wind commitments.
Yesterday, the British government approved plans for the Hornsea Project Two wind farm, what they're saying will be the world's biggest when it's completed with an energy generating capacity of 1.8 GW. The project is an extension of the Hornsea Project One (pictured above), a previously approved 1.2-GW offshore wind farm that was also being hailed as the world's biggest. Either way, they're both giant projects and amount to a lot of offshore wind for the UK.
“The UK’s offshore wind industry has grown at an extraordinary rate over the last few years, and is a fundamental part of our plans to build a clean, affordable, secure energy system," said Greg Clark, Britain's business and energy secretary. "Britain is a global leader in offshore wind, and we are determined to be one of the leading destinations for investment in renewable energy, which means jobs and economic growth right across the country.”
The Hornsea Project Two wind farm will feature 300 wind turbines and produce enough energy to power 1.6 million homes. It will be located about 55 miles east of England's Yorkshire coast.
Beyond the two Hornsea projects, the UK has serious offshore wind energy ambitions. The British government says that it expects to have 10 GW of offshore wind energy installed by the end of this decade and plans to have an another 10 GW installed in the 2020s.
The UK is on track to meet 10 percent of its energy needs from offshore wind by 2020. The Hornsea projects will provide a major boost to that goal.
Scotland on its own has blazed ahead in its quest to meet 100 percent of its energy needs with renewable energy by 2020. Just last year, wind turbines generated enough energy to meet 97 percent of Scottish household electricity needs and solar power produced 50 percent of household electricity or hot water needs over seven months of the year.