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Wind sector reaches production landmark

RenewableUK has announced that the country’s wind sector has reached a landmark 6 gigawatts of installed capacity

According to Click Green, RenewableUk, the trade association representing the UK’s renewable energy industries, says the landmark is enough to supply electricity to 3,354,893 homes.

The 6GW threshold was reached by the Ormonde offshore wind farm, off the coast of Cumbria, which now has 120 megawatts (MW) operational – enough to power more than 67,000 homes.

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery said: “This is a landmark achievement. There’s a great feeling of pride throughout the industry that we’ve reached a record high of 6 gigawatts, and there’s a further 19.5GW of capacity under construction, consented, or in planning.

The Government’s Renewable Energy Roadmap is calling for 31GW of onshore and offshore wind combined by 2020, and we’re confident that we can deliver this if we continue to get the right level of Government support”.

The news was announced at RenewableUK’s Annual Parliamentary Reception on Wednesday night, where the keynote political speaker was the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander.

The Chief Secretary said: “This is a significant milestone for the wind industry which demonstrates the increasingly important role that renewable energy is playing in the UK’s energy mix.”

“Working together we can reach even greater heights. We are eager to ensure that the UK becomes the natural home for the most innovative, ambitious and inspiring renewable energy companies in the world, and we will continue to work with the industry to drive down costs and encourage even stronger growth in the years to come”.

The Chairman of Scottish Renewables, Jeremy Sainsbury said: “We obviously join the renewables industry in celebrating reaching the 6GW mark and congratulate the Scottish sector in contributing almost 50 per cent towards this important milestone.”

“It is clear that with Scotland’s 2020 target of generating the equivalent of 100 per cent of our electricity needs from renewables that we will continue to play a significant part in delivering capacity across the UK”.

The Scottish Government Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP said: “£750 million of new renewable electricity projects started generating in Scotland over past year, and Scottish wind energy is already making a significant contribution to UK and EU targets.”

“We are working closely with the UK Government to ensure electricity market reforms continue to maximise opportunities to capitalise on Scotland’s unique natural resources.”

Vattenfall’s UK Country Manager, Peter Wesslau said: “The UK’s wind industry goes from strength to strength and Vattenfall, which sees wind power as important to its own investment strategy, is really pleased that it is its Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm, off Barrow-in-Furness, which takes the industry over the 6GW line. Ormonde is currently undergoing commissioning and has completed 24 of the 30 wind turbines deployed in the wind farm.”