The world’s largest offshore wind farm, located off the northwest coast of England, begins generating energy on Thursday.
Comprising 87 turbines, each around twice the height of Big Ben, the Walney Extension covers an area of 145 square kilometers and has a total capacity of 659 megawatts – the most produced by any single wind farm on the planet, according to Danish energy firm Orsted, the owner and operator of the project.
The energy produced is enough to power 590,000 homes.
“What an exciting day,” Orsted wrote on Twitter Thursday. “We’re opening the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Walney Extension, located in the Irish Sea. A massive feat of engineering.”
A spokesperson for the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy confirmed to CNN that the offshore wind farm is the largest in the world in terms of megawatts produced.
In a statement, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said, “Record-breaking engineering landmarks like this huge offshore wind farm help us consolidate our global leadership position, break records for generating renewable energy, and create thousands of high quality jobs.”
Although the UK is a global leader in offshore wind energy, investment in renewable energies has fallen significantly in recent years.
According to the Global Wind Energy Council, the UK has the largest cumulative offshore wind capacity in the world. In 2017, the UK’s offshore wind farms had a capacity of over 6,800 megawatts, 1,300 more than its closest rival Germany.
But analysis by Bloomberg showed that in the first six months of 2018, overall investment in clean energy fell by more than 50% in the UK compared to a global fall of just 1%.
Following a decade of steady growth, investment in clean energy in the UK has fallen each year since 2015, Bloomberg found.