Prime minister David Cameron has officially opened the World’s largest offshore wind farm – the 630MW London Array.
Situated in the Thames Estuary, all 175 turbines supplied by Siemens are now fully operational and will supply enough clean electricity to power 500,000 homes – saving almost 1m tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
David Cameron said: “This is a great day for Britain and a big win for renewable energy. London Array shows you can build large scale renewable energy projects right here in Britain. This is because when it comes to clean energy, the UK has one of the clearest investment climates globally.”
Local MP Laura Sandys said: “It was fantastic to host the prime minister in Thanet today. We are at the heart of the world’s offshore renewable energy sector and today’s event marks the recognition of this at the very highest level of government.
“To borrow some words from the Prime Minister, this wind farm really is a great win for Ramsgate. Into the future, it will prove to be a huge employment asset. We are thrilled that Ramsgate is now the port of choice for the Operations and Maintenance for London Array. With 89 jobs already secured and 6 apprentices, we are looking to establish Ramsgate as the ‘Aberdeen of Wind.’ This is a real opportunity for regeneration.”
Industry body Renewable UK’s chief executive, Maria McCaffery, added: “The prime minister’s ringing endorsement of Britain’s offshore wind industry is a real boost for the entire renewable energy sector, which is a key growth area for the British economy. London Array is a magnificent feat of green engineering in a field in which Britain is the global leader, as we have more offshore wind capacity installed than the rest of the world put together.
“We’re about to witness a massive expansion in the number of people we employ in the wind industry onshore and offshore, from about 12,000 now to 76,000 by the dawn of the next decade, as long as government remains supportive – today Mr Cameron has assured us that it will.”