London Array

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London Array off-shore wind farm
London Array 02.jpg
The London Array under construction in 2009.
London Array is located in England
London Array
Location of London Array off-shore wind farm
Country England, United Kingdom
Location 7 miles (11 km) off North Foreland, Kent
Coordinates 51°38′38″N 01°33′13″E / 51.64389°N 1.55361°E / 51.64389; 1.55361Coordinates: 51°38′38″N 01°33′13″E / 51.64389°N 1.55361°E / 51.64389; 1.55361
Status Operational
Construction began March 2011
Commission date October 2012
Construction cost £1.8 billion (€2.2 billion)
Owner(s) DONG Energy (50%)
E.ON UK Renewables (30%)
Masdar (20%)
Wind farm
Type Off-shore
Distance from shore 7 mi (11.3 km)
Power generation
Units operational 175 × 3.6 MW
Make and model Siemens Wind Power
Nameplate capacity 630

The London Array is an off-shore wind farm in the Thames Estuary in the United Kingdom. With a nameplate capacity of 630 megawatts (MW), it is the world's largest offshore wind farm.[1] The site is more than 20 kilometres (12 mi)[2] off the North Foreland on the Kent coast in the area of Long Sand and Kentish Knock, between Margate in Kent and Clacton in Essex. The first foundation was installed in March 2011[3] and phase I, consisting of 175 turbines delivering a capacity of 630 MW, was confirmed fully operational on 8 April 2013.[4] The wind farm is named the London Array because it supplies electric power to parts of Greater London.


The wind farm is located more than 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the Kent and Essex coasts in the outer Thames Estuary. The first phase consists of 175[5] SWT-3.6 turbines and two offshore substations, giving a wind farm with a peak rated power of 630 MW.[6] The turbines and offshore substations are each erected on a monopile, and connected together by 210 kilometres (130 mi) of 33 kV array cables. The two offshore substations are connected to an onshore substation at Cleve Hill (near Graveney) on the north Kent coast, by four 150 kV subsea export cables, in total 220 kilometres (140 mi).[7] The smaller Thanet Wind Farm is to the south of it.


Turbines were supplied by Siemens Wind Power.[6] Their foundations were built by the joint-venture between Per Aarsleff and Bilfinger Berger Ingenieurbau. The same company supplied and installed the monopiles.[7] Generators were installed by MPI and A2SEA by using an installation vessel TIV MPI Adventure and a jack-up barge Sea Worker.[8] Two offshore substations were designed, fabricated and installed by Future Energy, a joint venture between Fabricom, Iemants and Geosea, while electrical systems and onshore substation work was undertaken by Siemens Transmission & Distribution. The subsea export cable was supplied by Nexans and array cables by JDR Cable Systems. The array cables and the export cables were installed by VSMC.[7]

Ownership is 50% DONG Energy, 30% E.ON UK Renewables and 20% Masdar.[9] The wind farm was planned to be built by London Array Limited, a consortium of Shell WindEnergy, E.ON UK Renewables and DONG Energy.[10] In May 2008, Shell announced that it was pulling out of the project.[11] It was announced in July 2008 that E.ON UK and DONG Energy would buy Shell's stake.[12] Subsequently on 16 October 2008, London Array announced the Abu Dhabi based Masdar would join E.ON as a joint venture party in the scheme. Under the agreement, Masdar purchased 40% of E.ON's half share of the scheme, giving Masdar a 20% stake in the project overall.[13]

In March 2009, the backers agreed on an initial investment of €2.2 billion.[14] Financing of phase 1 was achieved through the European Investment Bank and the Danish Export Credit Fund with £250 million.[9] Offshore work began in March 2011.[15]

The wind farm started producing electricity at the end of October 2012.[15] It was inaugurated by the British prime minister David Cameron on 4 July 2013.[16] The array is intended to reduced annual CO2 emissions by approximately 900,000 tons, equal to the emissions of 300,000 passenger cars.[17]

A second phase was planned which would have seen a further 166 turbines installed to increase the capacity to 1000MW.[13][18] However, the second phase was scaled back and finally cancelled in February 2014 after concerns were raised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds about its effect on a local population of red-throated divers.[18][19][20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "London Array official site". 22 February 1999. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Eyre, Edward Crosthwaite (16 November 2010). Preliminary Information Memorandum: London Array (Phase 1) Offshore Transmission Assets. UK OFGEM. p. 3. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  3. ^ London Array site First foundation March 2011
  4. ^ "Hip Hip Array-World's largest offshore wind farm goes fully operational" (Press release). RenewableUK. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Nathan, Stuart (25 June 2012). "The Big Project: London Array". The Engineer. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Siemens to provide 175 wind turbines for the world's largest offshore wind farm London Array" (Press release). Siemens AG. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c "Trio hand out London Array prizes". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  8. ^ "London Array signs final major installation contracts for phase one" (Press release). London Array. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Jensen, Mette Buck. DONG borrows GBP 250mioIngeniø, 9 June 2010. Retrieved: 9 June 2010.
  10. ^ "London Array project introduction". 22 February 1999. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Shell pulls out of key wind power project, Financial Times, 1 May 2008
  12. ^ "E.ON and DONG Energy become 50:50 partners in world's largest offshore wind farm" (Press release). The London Array. Retrieved 16 August 2008. 
  13. ^ a b "E.ON and Masdar have joined forces as partners in the London Array offshore wind farm project" (PDF) (Press release). The London Array. Retrieved 16 October 2008. 
  14. ^ David Teather, "Thames offshore wind farm gets green light from investors", The Guardian, 13 May 2009
  15. ^ a b Bradbury, John (5 November 2012). "First power from London Array". • International (Offshore Media Group). Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  16. ^ "London Array, world's largest offshore wind farm, inaugurated" (Press release). 4 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  17. ^ London Array Offshore Windfarm Inaugurated,, retrieved 7 July 2013
  18. ^ a b Sea bird halts London Array wind farm expansion, BBC News, retrieved 19 February 2014
  19. ^ The London Array: the world's largest offshore wind farm,, retrieved 7 July 2013
  20. ^ English Channel projects worth 3.3GW face bird colony challenge,, retrieved 7 July 2013

External links[edit]