Britain opens world's largest offshore wind farm

LONDON Thu Jul 4, 2013 8:12am EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - The world's largest offshore wind farm, which can generate enough electricity for half a million homes, was officially opened off Britain's south-east coast on Thursday.

Prime Minister David Cameron opened the 630-megawatt London Array project, which was developed by E.ON, DONG Energy and Abu Dhabi's Masdar and produced its first electricity from all its turbines in April.

The 1.5 billion pound ($2.3 billion) wind farm, built 20 kilometers offshore, contains 175 turbines and solidifies Britain's position at the top of the world's offshore wind league table.

Britain is banking on offshore wind technology to help it reach legally-binding targets to cut carbon emissions. It is aiming to develop 18 gigawatts (GW) of power from wind by 2020.

With 3.3 GW currently in place, Britain is the world's top offshore wind power producer and another 15 GW are in the pipeline, the country's green energy association, RenewableUK, said.

The project's turbines were supplied by Siemens.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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