Ten gigantic wind farms
BY SIGNE BENN HANSEN
From the first 100-200Kw turbines erected in the late 80s to this month’s announcement of a 18MW turbine from CSSC Haizhuang – it has been a breathtaking couple of decades for the wind sector. All over the world, wind farms with almost unbelievable capacity are mushrooming out of the land and sea. We take a look at ten of the world’s biggest wind projects, operating or under development.
1: Jiuquan Wind Power Base/Gansu Wind Farm, China
Since the first 5.16 GW phase of the Jiuquan Wind Power Base was completed in November 2010, the wind farm, which is also referred to as Gansu Wind Farm, has comfortably held the spot as the world’s largest wind farm. When finished, the farm will comprise 7,000 wind turbines installed in Inner Mongolia, Jiuquan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Hebei and Xinjiang Provinces in Gansu, China. In 2021, the farm had reached a capacity of 10GW. It is set to reach a capacity of 20GW when complete.
2: Dogger Bank Wind Farm, UK
The Dogger Bank Wind Farm, currently under construction, is a three-phase offshore wind farm located off the NE coast of England. When operational in 2026, it will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm, with each phase having 1.2GW capacity. In total, Dogger Bank will feature 277 of one of world’s currently most powerful operating offshore wind turbines – GE’s Haliade-X. The 3.6GW wind farm will provide five per cent of the UK’s electricity and power up to six million homes. Currently, Equinor and SSE Renewables are carrying out early scoping work to explore options for developing a fourth phase, Dogger Bank D, which would add an additional 1.32 GW in fixed-bottom offshore wind capacity to the 3.6 GW already in construction.
3: The Jaisalmer wind park, India
With a capacity of 1,600MW the Jaisalmer Wind Park is the largest wind farm in India and among the largest in the world. Developed by Suzlon Energy, it consists of several onshore wind farms located in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan, India. Initiated in August 2001, the project was developed by Suzlon Energy and encompasses their full wind portfolio, from their initial 350 kW model to their latest S9X 2.1 MW series.
4: Wind Prime, USA, Iowa
In January, MidAmerican Energy, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy, proposed a $3.9 billion project called Wind Prime to the Iowa Utilities Board. The project will include wind and solar farms and generate 2,042 MW of energy through wind and an additional 50 MW through solar. If approved, construction could be completed by late 2024 and it would become the largest wind farm in the US.
5: Alta Wind Energy Center/Mojave Wind Farm, United States
Owned by Terra-Gen Power, The Alta Wind Energy Center is the third-largest onshore wind energy project globally and the largest in the US, with an installed capacity of 1548 MW. Located in the Tehachapi Pass of the Tehachapi Mountains in California, the wind farm comprises 600 GE Renewable Energy turbines. The first phase of the energy centre was completed in April 2011.
6: Hornsea 2
Fully operational in the summer of 2022, Hornsea 2, a 1.3GW offshore wind farm, comprises 165 Siemens Gamesa wind turbines, located 89 kilometres off the Yorkshire Coast. The wind farm is situated alongside its sibling Hornsea 1, and together the plants can power 2.5 million homes. The Hornsea zone, an area of the North Sea covering more than 2,000 km2, is also set to include Hornsea 3. According to Orsted, the Danish energy company behind the farm, the blades of the turbines measure 81 metres and “One revolution of the wind-turbine blades can power an average UK home for 24 hours.”
7: The Muppandal Wind Farm, India.
With a capacity of 1,500MW, the Muppandal Wind Farm is the largest offshore farm in India and comprises several wind farms in the Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, India. Developed by the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA), the farm features wind turbines from various private players, some of which are among the oldest in the country. The turbines range in capacity from just 200 KW to 1,650 KW. Commissioned in 1986, many of the farm’s turbines are running past their lifecycle, and it is currently being discussed how turbines should be decommissioned or replaced.
8: The MacIntyre complex, Australia
When completed in 2024, the MacIntyre complex, the largest wind farm in Australia, will have a total capacity of 1,026MW. Operated by ACCIONA Energía, the complex consists of two wind farms: MacIntyre and Karara. The wind farms will use 180 Nordex Delta 4000 turbines with a power rating of 5.7MW, the latest generation of turbines by the German manufacturer. The turbines will generate clean electricity to supply nearly 700,000 homes and avoid the emission of around three million tonnes of CO2 each year.
9: Greater Changhua 1 & 2a, Taiwan
Located 35-60 kilometres off Taiwan’s west coast, Greater Changhua 1 & 2a has a total capacity of 900 MW, making it the largest and first far-shore wind farm in Taiwan. The wind farm, which became operational in August 2022, is capable of providing clean energy to one million households.
10: Will this be the world’s largest wind farm?
In the Taiwan Strait, off the coast of Chaozhou – a city in China’s Guangdong province – China is planning the world’s largest wind farm. Located between 75 and 185 kilometres offshore, the ten-kilometre-long farm will feature thousands of powerful turbines, adding up to a total of a 43.3 gigawatt – enough to power a small European country. Because of the windy location, the turbines are expected to run between 43 per cent and 49 per cent of the time. Work on the project will start before 2025 and, once completed, it will eclipse the world’s current largest wind farm, the Jiuquan Wind Power base in China, at the top of this list.
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