DONG Energy is the first company worldwide to have installed 1,000 offshore wind turbines, and its offshore wind power venture will continue unabated: From 2016 to 2020, DONG Energy is set to build more offshore wind capacity than it built altogether in the preceding 25 years. Today, every single one of the biggest wind turbines delivers almost twice as much energy as the first offshore wind farm.
Offshore wind capacity recently marked a milestone when DONG Energy commissioned offshore wind turbine number 1,000. It happened at the German offshore wind farm Gode Wind 2, which is one of the many wind farms that DONG Energy fully or partly owns and operates in Denmark, the UK and Germany.
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From a niche technology to a reliable energy source
Developments have been moving forward at a rapid pace since the first Danish offshore wind turbine with a capacity of 0.45MW started producing power 25 years ago at the offshore wind farm Vindeby. Today, each of the largest wind turbines in the market – with a rotor span of 164 metres and a capacity of 8MW – can produce almost twice as much energy as all 11 of the small wind turbines that make up the Vindeby Offshore Wind Farm. In fact, just one rotation of the largest wind turbines produces electricity to cover one household's power consumption over 29 hours.
"In the space of only a few years, offshore wind has evolved from being a niche technology to being recognised as a reliable and clean energy source supplying power on utility scale and playing an important role in the green transformation of the energy sector. With 1,000 offshore wind turbines, we have a unique level of experience and routine at constructing and operating ‘power plants’ at sea, and this is crucial to ensuring that we can continue to reduce the costs of green electricity from offshore wind," says Senior Vice President Anders Lindberg, who is responsible for the construction of offshore wind farms at DONG Energy.
At the end of 2015, DONG Energy had installed offshore wind farms with a total capacity of 3GW (3,000MW). And there is much more in the pipeline: Towards 2020, DONG Energy is building a number of large offshore wind farms in the UK and Germany that will increase capacity to 6.7GW, equalling the electricity consumption of 17 million Europeans. In other words, in just four years, DONG Energy is building more offshore wind capacity than in the previous 25 years altogether.
Wind turbine electricity generation increasing
Developments really took off in 2007, when DONG Energy constructed the UK offshore wind farm Burbo Bank, which was the first to use the world's biggest offshore wind turbines at the time. With a capacity of 3.6MW, the new turbine could deliver 56% more power than the previous generation of 2.3MW offshore wind turbines.
The next breakthrough came in 2015, when DONG Energy built the UK offshore wind farm Westermost Rough with 6MW wind turbines. And in September 2016, DONG Energy – as the first in the world – started to install the new 8MW offshore turbines at the wind farm Burbo Bank Extension in UK waters. The capacity of the latest wind turbines is nearly 18 times as big as the 0.45MW turbines that make up the first offshore wind farm at Vindeby.
Wind farms in operation and under way
Wind farms in operation
|Country ||Capacity||DONG Energy's ownership |
|Horns Rev 1||Denmark||160MW||40%|
|Horns Rev 2||Denmark||209MW||100%|
|Gunfleet Sands 1&2||UK||173MW||50.1%|
|Avedøre Holme demo||Denmark||7MW||100%|
|Gunfleet Sands demo||UK||12MW||100%|
|London Array 1||UK||630MW||25%|
|West of Duddon Sands||UK||389MW||50%|
|Borkum Riffgrund 1 ||Germany ||312MW||50%|
|Westermost Rough ||UK||210MW|
| Country|| Capacity ||DONG Energy's ownership |
|Gode Wind 1 || Germany|| 330MW||50%|
|Gode Wind 2 || Germany || 252MW||50%|
|Burbo Bank Extension|| UK|| 258MW||50%|
|Walney Extension || UK|| 660MW||100%|
|Race Bank|| UK|| 580MW||100%|
|Borkum Riffgrund 2|| Germany || 450MW||100%|
|Hornsea 1 || UK ||1,200MW||100%|
|Borssele 1&2 || Netherlands || 700MW||100%|