Offshore wind farms, like the one proposed in North Wales, will play a role in helping the UK meet its 2030 renewable energy targets. Credit: Nicholas Doherty on Unsplash

Plans in for offshore wind farm that could power 500,000 homes

If the Awel y Môr project is approved by the UK Planning Inspectorate, up to 50 wind turbine generators would operate on nearly 20,000 acres of the seabed off the coast of North Wales.

Situated 10 kilometres away from Prestatyn in Denbighshire, the offshore wind farm would make landfall at Ffrith Beach. It is being developed by a consortium featuring RWE Renewables UK, Stadtwerke München and Siemens Financial Services.

RWE, which already generates a third of all Wales’ renewable energy, is leading the development of the wind farm. The energy company currently operates three offshore wind farms in North Wales: Gwynt y Môr, Rhyl Flats and North Hoyle.

Awel y Môr would sit adjacent to the Gwynt y Môr site. It would have the ability to generate more than 350 MW of energy, which is capable of providing enough energy for 500,000 homes.

The proposals for the wind farm include installing underground cables and constructing electrical substations and corresponding infrastructure to connect the energy created at the wind farm to the National Grid substation at Bodelwyddan.

While RWE awaits planning permission from the UK government, it is also pursuing a marine license with the Welsh Government.

If both approvals are secured, the wind farm could be operational by 2030.

The application’s reference number with the planning inspectorate is EN010112.

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The U.K. builds 150,000 houses per year! If this is not open till 2030, that means it’s not even going to touch the sides of the expected new demand, yet alone the existing demand from the current housing and industrial stock

By Stuart wood

So each wind turbine can power up to ten thousand homes? Is that right? If so that’s way more than I would have guessed.

By Anonymous

@Anonymous who questioned the figures, I’ve done a bit of Googling and back-of-napkin calculation:

350MW = 7 MW per turbine, which sounds like it’s probably the peak output in ideal conditions. Real average output over a year might be something like 30% of this. So in total you might get about 0.3 * 350 * 24 * 365 = 920 million kWh per year.

The average uk household uses about 2,900 kWh and 12,000 kWh gas per year. 920 million / 2,900 = 317,000 homes.

So it sounds like the 500,000 homes figure (10,000 per turbine) is in the right ball park if you’re talking about supplying only the electricity demand of dual-fuel homes.

If all homes’ energy demand was met by electricity, no gas, it’s probably a bit less than 100,000 homes (2,000 per turbine), depending how well insulated and efficient those homes are running off heat pumps.

By W

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