The London Array wind farm is located approximately 20 km (12 miles) from the Kent and Essex coasts in the outer Thames Estuary. The wind farm consists of 175 turbines with a capacity of 630MW. The site is situated on and between two sandbanks, Long Sand and Kentish Knock, in water of up to 23 metres deep. It is bounded to the west by Black Deep, the main approach to the Port of London, and to the south by the approaches to Fisherman's Gat.
The turbines are mounted on monopole foundations and connected by marine cabling at 33 kV to two offshore substation installations where the voltage is stepped up to 150 kV for export to shore. The power generated is exported via four 150 kV cables (two per offshore substation) to a landfall point at Cleve Hill, Graveney, England. Once the marine cables reach the shore they pass under a sea defence and borrow pit using HDD conduits. The export cables cross the Kentish Flat and Britned cables.
The idea for the London Array project was conceived in 2001, when a series of environmental studies in the outer Thames Estuary confirmed the area was suitable as a wind farm site. Two years later, the Crown Estate gave London Array Ltd a 50-year lease for the site and cable route to shore.
Planning consent for a 1GW offshore wind farm was granted in 2006, and permission was granted for the onshore works in 2007. Work on Phase One started in July 2009 with the building of the onshore substation at Cleve Hill in Kent.
Completion of the construction on Phase One took place at the end of 2012
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