Maiden offshore UK wind farm to be retired

European energy supplier E.ON has announced it will retire a ‘pioneering’ offshore wind farm in the UK, which began generating renewable energy almost two decades ago off the coast of Northumberland.

The 4MW Blyth Offshore Wind Farm was built by a consortium led by E.ON in 2000, marking a historic milestone in the UK’s renewables industry as its first operational offshore facility.

E.ON said the ‘pioneering’ two turbine Blyth wind farm had been a valuable testing ground for offshore construction, operations, maintenance, innovation and development, but would be taken down in April having reached the end of its operational life.

“Through Blyth, we were able to demonstrate to the watching world that the technology worked, and we’ve been able to use our experience and learning to go on to develop a further 1.5GW of wind capacity off the UK coast,” said E.ON offshore technical specialist Patrick Rainey.

“I think we can all be proud of the role it’s played in the renewable energy industry, and its legacy for the port and waters around Blyth,” he added.

The facility generated enough clean power to supply over 2,000 homes each year and save around 4,500 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the environment.

Since Blyth became fully operational, the UK has gone on to build the world’s largest offshore wind capacity that currently provides around 8% of the UK’s power.

Last week, the UK government revealed plans to boost the contribution of offshore wind to 30% of its total electricity supply by 2030.