H.H. Sheikh Abdullah made his remarks at the inauguration of the London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm in the outer reaches of the Thames Estuary, off the coast of the United Kingdom.
Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, was one of three partners who invested and developed the sophisticated wind power project. The inauguration was attended by UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, along with other dignitaries.
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah said, “It’s an honour to have helped deliver this tremendous wind power project in the United Kingdom. Our countries share a long history and we continue to benefit from our strong bilateral relations. Since the first visit of our founding father, The Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the close bond between our countries has continued to grow.
“The United Arab Emirates has a strong legacy in the energy sector,” added Sheikh Abdullah. “From our abundant hydrocarbon sector to renewable energy technology, the UAE is extending its energy leadership into future generations. We believe that by addressing energy security – balancing the sources of power we rely on – we can also create economic and social opportunity. Through Masdar, the UAE is seriously addressing this goal. The London Array is a good example of how the development of wind power can drive economic growth, social opportunity and address long-term energy security.
“Our efforts, however, are not only limited to large-scale, mega-power projects,” continued His Highness. “We are also committed to promoting energy access and delivering electricity to countries that need it most. By providing access to energy, developing nations can better achieve sustainable, economic development and also mitigate the impact of climate change. Renewable energy is a powerful form of foreign aid with lasting economic, social and environmental benefits.
He also commended the UK’s efforts to diversify its domestic energy sources.
“We congratulate the UK – and all partners who worked on The London Array – on this historic milestone in addressing the country’s long-term energy security,” said H.H. Sheikh Abdullah. “The UAE is committed to accelerating the development of renewable energy and we look forward to future projects. I would also like to invite you all to join us in January during “Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week” to continue this dialogue and find meaningful ways to continue this momentum.” The ceremony was attended by Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change; Greg Barker, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change; Abdul Rahman al Mutaiwee, UAE Ambassador to the UK; Dominic Jermey, UK Ambassador to the UAE, as well other representatives from both government and the private sector.
Masdar, Norway’s DONG Energy and E.ON today opened The London Array, a 630MW offshore wind farm, which first started generating power in October 2012. The 175th turbine was bought online in March 2013 and The London Array is now celebrating the completion and full operation of the site, which is able to supply around 500,000 UK homes with electricity each year.
In July 2009, construction began on a new onshore substation on the north Kent coast, to pass the energy generated by The London Array straight into the national grid. Offshore, the first foundation was installed in March 2011 while the 175th and final Siemens 3.6MW turbine was installed on time in December last year. Over 75 organisations have helped to build The London Array, with over 6,700 individuals involved.
Speaking at the launch event, UK Prime Minister, David Cameron said, “This is a great day for Kent and a great day for Britain. The London Array has been built by some of the bravest seamen, the most talented engineers and hardest workers. It will bring benefits to Kent for years to come.” Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said, “This inauguration is a historic milestone for the United Kingdom and the development of renewable energy. Projects like The London Array demonstrate the economic opportunities of large-scale renewable energy projects – from the direct investment they attract to the industries they strengthen.
“The London Array also exemplifies what can be achieved through smart policies and strong partnerships,” added Dr. Al Jaber. “Masdar is a committed partner in addressing the world’s growing need for clean energy. We look forward to extending our portfolio and finding ways to integrate renewable energy that delivers a lasting impact.” The London Array is located around 20km off the coasts of Kent and Essex on a 100 sq.km. site. Its 175 Siemens 3.6MW turbines have a combined capacity of 630MW and are expected to produce enough electricity to power over half a million UK homes each year.