World’s largest wind farm to be built in North Sea
TenneT, the operator of the Netherlands’ electric grid, has come up with an ambitious plan to build an artificial island in the middle of the North Sea that on completion would support the world’s largest wind farm.
The location for the artificial island is a region called the Dogger Bank, about 100 km (60 miles) off the coast of Yorkshire in the UK. During the last Ice Age some 20,000 years ago, when sea levels were 100 meters lower than today, Dogger Bank was actually a landmass called Doggerland, which connected mainland Europe to the British Isles. Its location also puts any electricity generated from the farm within reach of five countries.
Wind power generators are searching for better locations because wind farms are a much less dense form of electricity generation compared to fossil-fuel power or nuclear power. A nuclear power plant can generate 400 times as much energy per unit of area compared to a wind farm. Sea-based wind farm locations need to be close to land or, as is the case with
Dogger Bank, need to use additional equipment to reach the land that wants to use its power. Wind turbines create alternating current, which suffers greater losses when being transported over longer distances than direct current.
TenneT plans to build equipment to convert the alternating current to direct current, which can then be transported to the UK, the Netherlands, and later to Belgium, Denmark, and Germany, before being converted back to alternating current for use in homes and industry.
Largest one at present: The largest offshore wind farm currently is the London Array, which can produce 630 MW of power and covers an area of 122 sq. km (47 sq. miles). TenneT’s proposed plan will create a wind farm capable of producing 30 GW of power over about 6,000 sq. km (2,300 sq. miles).
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