UK installed wind capacity reaches 3 GW

The UK has installed its third gigawatt of wind energy capacity. The milestone was reached with the commissioning of over 75% of Centrica's latest offshore wind project off the east coast of England and the first phase of Europe's largest wind farm, ScottishPower's 312 MW Whitelee project near Glasgow. At the Lynn and Inner Dowsing offshore wind farm site, 45 out of 54 Siemens 3.6 MW turbines are now exporting electricity to the national grid. When fully complete at 194 MW, it will be the world's largest offshore wind farm. At Whitelee, 81 out of 140 turbines are commissioned. The UK took 14 years to reach its first gigawatt, says the British Wind Energy Association's Chris Tomlinson, 20 months to reach the second and a further 20 months to achieve 3 GW. Wind is now generating around 2.2% of electricity supply, he says, and is the UK's leading renewable energy technology, overtaking hydro.