The London Array project was born in 2001, when a series of environmental studies in the outer Thames Estuary confirmed the area as suitable wind farm site.
London Array is a 175-turbine offshore wind farm located 20 km off the North Foreland on the Kent coast in the area of Long Sand on Kentish Knock in the United Kingdom. The wind farm is the largest offshore wind farm in the world, and the largest wind farm in Europe by MW capacity. It generates 630 MW of electricity when fully operational.
Construction of the London Array wind farm started in 2009. First, the construction of the onshore substation started in July 2009. Then, the offshore construction started in March 2011, when the first of 177 foundations for the project was installed.
The London Array project consists of 175 Siemens SWT-3.6 turbines and two offshore substations. Each turbine and offshore substation is erected on a monopole foundation, and connected by 210 km of 33 kV array cables. The two offshore substations are connected to the onshore substation at Cleve Hill on the north Kent coast by four 150 kV subsea export cables with a total length of 220 km.
The first turbine of the wind farm was erected in January 2012 and the final turbine was installed in December 2012.
London Array began producing electricity in October 2012 with full operation of all 175 turbines confirmed 6 months later on 8 April 2013. In 2014, the wind farm generated more than 2.2 TW of electricity.
London Array produces enough power for nearly half a million homes in the United Kingdom a year and reduces harmful CO2 emissions by more than 925,000 tons per year.