Masdar’s London Array, one of the world’s largest wind farms, has been helping to power half a million British homes, create jobs, and cut carbon emissions. The offshore facility has brought jobs to Britain’s north Kent coast. It has also helped to shrink the UK’s carbon footprint by generating 630 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy and, displacing 925,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
As nations look to cut emissions – the UK has pledged to reach net zero by 2050 - and safeguard energy independence, projects such as London Array can serve as a model of international collaboration.
London Array was developed with the help of 6,700 workers and more than 75 organizations – the project is a joint venture between Masdar, German firm RWE, Denmark’s Orsted, and Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, based in Canada.
“London Array, up until a couple of years ago, was the largest wind farm in the world,” said Bob Smith, General Manager of London Array. “So, in that respect, it pioneered offshore wind for the UK. We’ve had a long relationship with Masdar. They’ve been part of the project right from the very beginning.”
Covering 10,000 hectares of the Thames estuary, which feeds into London’s main river, the facility has created opportunities in the local community. Ronnie Hill, an Operations Senior Technician at London Array and the son of a former coal miner, dreamed as a child of working out at sea. His role at London Array involves doing just that – and sometimes climbing to the top of the wind turbines, which stand at 147 meters – taller than the London Eye. “When I get to the top and open that hatch, the view is just breathtaking,” he said. “It never leaves you, even from day one.”
He added that Masdar had brought a new industry to his community, and he has developed skills that will serve him for the rest of his career.
“It’s good to know that a company like Masdar, which is based in Abu Dhabi, is investing in an area where I live,” he said. “From car mechanics to fishermen, we’ve all ended up getting jobs.” Husain Al Meer, Director of Global Offshore Wind, Masdar, said the UK is the company’s largest investment hub outside of the UAE.
The offshore wind industry is one of the fastest growing in the world and is expected to reach US$1 trillion by 2040, according to Al Meer. Since it was launched 16 years ago Masdar has been pioneering clean energy projects in the UAE and around the world.
As the UAE looks forward to hosting the UN COP 28 climate summit in late 2023, Masdar – which is active in more than 40 countries – will continue to support local and global efforts to reach net-zero emissions.
Under the joint ownership of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala), and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), Masdar is targeting a renewable energy portfolio capacity of at least 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030.