London Array has set a new record for the amount of clean electricity produced by an offshore wind farm in a single calendar month.
December 2015 saw its 175 turbines generate 369,000 MWh of electricity – considerably above target and well above the previous best of 317,000 MWh set last November. The capacity factor for the month, which saw average wind speeds of 11.9m/s (27mph), was 78.9 per cent.
The two successive months of production brought net overall output for the year to some 2,500,000 MWh, enough to meet the needs of more than 600,000 UK households*.
Jonathan Duffy, General Manager of London Array, which is the world's largest operational offshore wind farm, said: "Both the monthly and annual figures are excellent results for London Array and show the contribution we are making to the country's energy supply as well as the UK's renewable energy targets.
"Above average winds this winter have helped push production higher but that is only part of the story: we have a great team of people who support the operation and maintenance of the wind farm.
"We have pushed very hard over the past year to build on our earlier successes and develop our approach to turbine maintenance and repair. Together with key contractors DONG Energy and Siemens we have focused on operational efficiency and expanding the amount of time our technicians are able to work offshore. This has helped ensure we extracted the maximum power from the wind and kept turbine availability above 98 per cent over the winter.
"Our performance is also good news for the environment as it will have prevented the release of some 1,075,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide** in 2015, the main gas linked to climate change."
London Array Limited is owned by a consortium of three world-leading renewable energy companies: E.ON (30%), DONG Energy (25%) and Masdar (20%) – and La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (25%), a global investor and one of the largest institutional fund managers in Canada and North America. Their combined experience and expertise help ensure the continuing success of the wind farm.
*Based on an average household consumption of 4,115kWh per year.
**Carbon calculations are based on an assumed average carbon intensity from grid supplied electricity of 430g CO2/kWh.